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Greens, feminists surge ahead of EU vote 'thriller'

Published: 24 May 2014 09:20 GMT+02:00

The Green Party (MP) now has the support of 15.5 percent of the Swedish electorate ahead of Sunday's vote, according to the latest opinion poll by Novus. The poll shows that the party has overtaken the Moderates who came in at 15 percent and now trails only the Social Democrats on 25.1 percent.
 
"We have not seen anything like it. I think that in Sweden, this is unique in itself," said Torbjörn Sjöström at Novus to Sveriges Radio.
 
The Feminist Initiative (Fi) continued their dramatic success of recent months to claim a statistically significant rise to 5.4 percent and look set to claim their first seats in the parliament.
 
The Liberal Party also put in a strong showing, claiming 11.1 percent. There were only slight changes in support for the other parties meanwhile with the Left Party claiming 7.1 percent, the Sweden Democrats 6.3, the Christian Democrats 6.1 and the Centre Party polling 5.0 percent. The Pirate Party looks set to lose its seats in the parliament, registering only 2.8 percent in the Novus poll. 
 
Novus conducted 3,044 interviews between May 16-22 and 1,925 people indicated a party preference.
 
The election promises to pose some interesting conundrums and observers expect a few surprises as the votes are counted on Sunday. 
 
In a heated party leader debate on Sveriges Television on Friday the issues of Danish pork and unemployment proved to be the most contentious.
 
The Green Party and the Centre Party battled it out in presenting themselves as the pig's best friend with MP's Isabella Lövin accusing the Centre Party of failing to push the government to lobby the European Commission to act against the use of antibiotics and tail-docking in Danish pig farms.
 
The leading candidates for the Social Democrats and Moderates, Marita Ulvskog and Gunnar Hökmark respectively, renewed hostilities after the former accused "the right" of causing Europe's high unemployment by forcing through austerity programmes across the continent.
 
"You do not seem worried. You look damn pleased," she told Hökmark. 
 
Hökmark responded simply that employment was a matter for individual EU member states.
 
With only around 47 percent of the electorate expected to bother to vote at all the outcome remains highly uncertain, according to political science professor Henrik Ekengren Oscarsson.
 
"There have been big changes at the end of the election campaign," he said. "It will be a thriller all the way until Sunday who will come in above and below the threshold."

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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