Big lead for opposition in poll

Fredrik Reinfeldt's centre-right government has fallen well behind the opposition in an opinion poll published in Sunday, with many blue-collar union members returning to the Social Democrats.

The poll, by Sifo, shows that the governing Moderates, Liberals, Centre Party and Christian Democrats together have 43.8 percent of voter sympathies. The opposition Social Democrats, Left and Green parties together have 51.2 percent.

The government’s standing in Sifo’s poll has fallen by four percentage points since October.

“I don’t think you can explain this by anything other than the discussion about unemployment insurance, or rather the insurance fees,” said Sifo’s Toivo Sjörén to Svenska Dagbladet.

The government has started introducing its promised reforms to the unemployment benefit system, one element of which is increased fees for membership of the union-run unemployment insurance funds. The reforms have provoked resistance from trade unions, with campaigns led by the Social Democrat-linked LO confederation.

Toivo Sjören said the rise in support for the Social Democrats was mainly among blue-collar workers, who are most likely to be members of LO.

The Social Democrats experienced the biggest rise in support, moving up by 3.5 percentage points.

The Liberals were the biggest losers, with support falling by 2.0 percentage points. Both the rise for the Social Democrats and the fall for the Liberals are statistically significant.

Sifo interviewed 1,903 people between 6th and 16th November, asking which party they would have voted for if there had been a general election today.

The full results (change since October in brackets):

Moderates 25.5 (-0.8)

Liberals 6.3 (-2.0)

Centre 6.7 (-0.6)

Christian Dem 5.3 (-0.6)

Social Dem 38.9 (+3.5)

Left 5.7 (+0.1)

Green 6.6 (+1.2)

Sweden Democrats 3.1 (-0.3)

Total Alliance 43.8 (-4.0)

Total opposition 51.2 (+4.8)