• Sweden edition
 
Sweden Democrats rake in southern support

Sweden Democrats rake in southern support

Published: 22 Apr 2013 13:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Apr 2013 13:17 GMT+02:00

The immigration-critical Sweden Democrats would nab 16 percent of the vote in regional elections in the south if residents were to cast their ballots today, revealed a new poll by Yougov commissioned by the Metro newspaper.

"In Malmö, our membership numbers are up by 30 percent in the past six months," Sweden Democrat Malmö municipal district chairman Jörgen Grubb told The Local. "We see a general increase so it doesn't surprise me that support has gone up regionally."

Neither did the new poll result surprise observers who are traditionally critical of the Sweden Democrats.

"Skåne has traditionally been their strongest stronghold, so it's not surprising their support there is above the national average," Alexander Bengtsson, deputy CEO of the magazine Expo, which covers nationalism and racism, told The Local.

Some commentators reacted to the news on Monday by saying the Sweden Democrats may be gaining ground in Skåne due to the widespread discontent in the region at how the healthcare system was being run.

"Part of it is probably due to how much coverage the healthcare crisis in Skåne is getting," political scientist Anders Sannerstedt at Lund University told Metro.

Alexander Bengtsson at Expo disagreed.

"I don't think Skåne residents fed up with healthcare have jumped ship to the Sweden Democrats, nor have they as a party regionally made an effort to cash in by, for example, making the nurses' cause their own," he said.

"It's not a strategy they have."

"What we can see is that the people responsible for cuts to the healthcare budgets have gone back in this poll," said opposition Social Democrat Elin Bruzewitz, who sits as a replacement in the regional assembly healthcare committee.

"But personally I don't think voters see the Sweden Democrats as the main oppositional force in healthcare questions, that's usually the Social Democrats' role," she said, adding that her party had gone from 29 percent of voter support to 34 in the past year based on opinions polls from March.

She added that the Sweden Democrat surge was "obviously worrying".

The Yougov poll asked 1,009 Skåne residents where their allegiances lay but also their views in different policy areas. Two thirds of survey respondents said they had very low or low confidence in the politicians currently in charge of healthcare policy, which across Sweden is administered at regional level.

Lars-Johan Hallgren, who heads the 14-strong group of Sweden Democrats in the 149-seat regional assembly, also said he believed Swedish voters were abandoning Sweden's traditional bloc politics.

"People see us as a third alternative, so where before the socialists and the conservatives vied for power, also regionally, more and more people think there is another option," Hallgren told The Local.

The southern Skåne region is currently under the regime of the Green Party working in conjunction with the centre-right Alliance, which also rules Sweden at national level. The collaboration, dubbed the Femklöver (the five-leaf clover), would not get a majority if elections were held today, instead attracting about 44 percent of regional votes.

The new survey also revealed that both the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats would sink below three percent. It stands to note that the two government coalition parties are also taking a battering on the national stage, with doubts cast if they can muster enough support to keep ahold of power in upcoming 2014 polls.

On Monday night, Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson will meet Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag in a debate about asylum and integration, hosted at Lund University. Tickets to the event have sold out.

At Expo, Alexander Bengtsson thought meeting Åkesson in a debate was the right thing for the integration minister to do.

"I mean, do you legitimize Åkesson by debating with him? He is an elected leader of a party in parliament," he told The Local. "But he was supposed to debate against us, at first, but he's too scared to."

Ann Törnkvist

Follow Ann on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Advertisement:
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com