Moderates biggest party – Christian Democrats lose out

Another week, another bad poll for Göran Persson, Sweden's prime minister. The latest opinion poll shows that more people support the main opposition Moderate Party than support Persson's own Social Democrats.

The poll, conducted by Ruab for Dagens Industri, puts the Moderates on 34.5 percent, against 31.9 percent for the Social Democrats. This represents a three point rise for the Moderates since the last Ruab poll.

The Social Democrats also gained 0.6 percent, apparently winning support at the expense of the Left and Green parties, which both saw a drop in approval.

The poll points to a clear advantage for the centre-right alliance, with the Moderates, Liberals, Centre Party and Christian Democrats together showing a ten point lead over the left-wing alliance of Social Democrats, Left Party and Greens.

Not everyone on the right will be happy with the results of the poll. While the Moderates and Liberals both saw an increase in their share of support, both the Christian Democrats and the Centre Party saw their support decrease.

Christian Democrat support appeared to be at a particularly low ebb. The party was down one percentage point, leaving it with only 3.3 percent of the vote. A party needs over four percent of the national vote to be guaranteed seats in the Riksdag.

Urban Svensson, secretary of the Christian Democrats, said the poll did not show the true level of the party’s support.

“A Skop poll a few weeks ago put us on 7.3 percent – which is also too low,” he told Dagens Industri.

“Opinion polls are all very well, but it’s the election that counts, and that’s when our profile issues work better.”

The next election will be held in September 2006. If the results of the poll were repeated exactly in a general election, there would be a centre-right government, although possibly without Christian Democrats.

Even when Chrisitan Democrats are not counted, the right has a seven point lead over the Social Democrats and their allies.