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Feminists could clinch it for the Right

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16:13 CEST+02:00
Feminist Initiative launchThe launch press conference of Gudrun Schyman's Feminist Initiative

Gudrun Schyman's Feminist Initiative would win seven percent of votes if an election were held today, a new opinion poll has shown. The Temo poll shows that Schyman is winning support from Green and Left Party supporters, meaning that both parties risk disappearing from Sweden's parliament. This could help the right-wing coalition into power, an expert on Swedish politics has told The Local.

The new poll, conducted for Dagens Nyheter, puts the Feminists on seven percent, which would give them 25 seats in parliament. Lars Ohly's scandal-hit Left Party is the worst hit by the feminists, losing 27 percent of its voters. The Greens also appear to be in trouble, with 17 percent of their voters saying that they would vote for the new party. Five percent of Social Democrats say that they now support Schyman.

The Feminist Initiative appears to be failing in its desire to appeal to voters on both the left and right of Swedish politics. Only two percent of Moderate Party voters, three percent of Liberal voters and four percent of Center Party voters would vote for the feminists. No Christian Democrats at all in the survey of 1,008 people said that they would vote for the new movement.

Mikael Gilljam, professor of political science at Gothenburg University, says that the Green and Left parties could end up without a single member of parliament, and the Social Democrats could be thrown out of government.

“If they don't get more than 3.9 percent in an election, then they end up under the threshold needed to get seats in parliament,” he told The Local. “If this happens, then the right-wing coalition is likely to form the next government.”

The main figures in the Feminist Initiative are drawn from the left of Swedish politics. Most visible of these is former Left Party leader Gudrun Schyman, who is widely being perceived as leader. This despite the party's decision not to have a formal leader, which it declared would have been “patriarchal”.

Yet with elections more than a year away, some are questioning whether the Feminists will be able to retain the initiative.

“If you're going to survive in parliament, you need a grass roots organisation and a broad range of policies,” explained Gilljam, who also questioned whether the party is too closely identified with the left wing of Swedish politics, despite its stated aim to break free of traditional left-right pigeon-holing.

“If they could find someone instead of Gudrun Schyman who was sufficiently high profile but closer to the middle ground, then the party might have a better chance,” he said.

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