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Strong poll gains for Sweden Democrats

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Strong poll gains for Sweden Democrats
17:00 CEST+02:00
The Swedish population's support for the far-right Sweden Democrats has gained the crucial mass necessary to enter parliament.

According to polls by Demoskop and Expressen newspaper, 4.2 percent of the population would vote for the Swedish Democrats if there was an election today. The Christian Democrats, a partner in the governing coalition, got only 3.8 percent of votes.

In prior polls, only 3.1 percent of the population supported the party. The recent rise in popularity may be due to the party's annual conference meeting in Karlstad in western Sweden a week ago.

The Sweden Democrats' chairman Jimmie Åkesson is convinced that the party now has a real chance of entering parliament at the next election.

"If we can keep up this support level of 3 - 4 percent until the next elections, then this is a good starting point. I am sure that we will get into Parliament at the next elections," he told news agency TT.

Demoskop's CEO Anders Lindholm confirmed this view. "It isn't really a surprise. More a case of when, not if. This is a development that has been coming for quite a while," he told TT.

However, should the party make it into Parliament in 2010, they might find it a difficult arena in which to air their policies. Most other political parties do not want anything to do with the Sweden Democrats who are viewed as xenophobic and sexist.

Speaking to Expressen newspaper, the Left Party's Secretary Anki Ahlsten went so far as to describe the Sweden Democrats as outright racists.

The polls questioned 1,008 people during the period from April 29th to May 6th.

Support for other parties is as follows:

The Social Democrats 44.1 percent

The Moderate Party 21.9 percent

The Green Party 6.8 percent

The Liberal Party 6.3 percent

The Centre Party 6.0 percent

The Left Party 5.9 percent

The Christian Democrats 3.8 percent

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