Nearly six percent of men support the Sweden Democrats, according to the unreleased poll by polling institute Sifo. The poll, which has been seen by news agency TT, was carried out for a number of parties and organizations. With 5,043 people questioned, the poll was bigger than Sifo’s regular monthly surveys.
Of those questioned, 3.6 percent said they supported the Sweden Democrats, but among men 5.9 percent said they supported the party. This put them ahead of the Christian Democrats (4.4 percent), the Left Party (4.7), the Green Party (5.0), the Centre Party (5.6) and almost level with the Liberal Party (6.0).
Among women, only 1.4 percent supported the Sweden Democrats, compared with 5.6 for the Left Party, 5.7 for Christian Democrats, 7.4 percent for Liberals, 7.6 percent for Greens and 8.4 percent for the Centre.
“I have not previously seen such a big gap between men and women. It is remarkably big,” said political expert Anders Sannerstedt at Lund University. Sannerstedt is himself working on a study of Sweden Democrat sympathisers in Skåne and Blekinge counties in southern Sweden. He has not found the gender differences to be as large.
Sannerstedt said he expected the party to continue winning ground from the other parties.
“In the 2010 election it is quite possible that they exceed the four percent threshold needed to win seats in the Riksdag. Of course, things can change quickly, but it’s heading in that direction,” he said.
Sannerstedt says the party has become more house-trained of late, toning down links to neo-Nazis and racism.