Poll: broad public support for dialogue with the far-right

The broad base of Swedish voters support a dialogue between the established parliamentary parties with the far-right Sweden Democrats if they were to gain enough votes to claim parliament seats at the next general election in 2010.

Recent polls from Synovate, Sifo, Skop and Demoskop all indicate that support for the far-right Sweden Democrats is growing and is now at around four percent, sufficient to claim seats in the parliament at a general election.

The establish parties should conduct a dialogue with the Sweden Democrats in the event that they enter parliament, argues seven out of ten voters who replied to a poll conducted by Synovate and commissioned by the current affairs television program, “Adaktusson”.

In what form the dialogue would take is difficult to predict but the opposing coalitions in Swedish politics are finely balanced and the Sweden Democrats could hold the balance of power.

The established parties in Sweden are sending mixed messages over the issue.

The leaders of the Social Democrat and Green parties, Mona Sahlin and Maria Wetterstrand have issued a challenge to the other parties to categorically reject the possibility of relying on the support of the Sweden Democrats in order to gain a parliamentary majority.

“It is time for all parliamentary parties to clearly and simply promise the electorate to not cooperate with the Sweden Democrats if they would enter the parliament,” Sahlin, Wetterstrand and the Green party’s Peter Eriksson, wrote in a debate article in Dagens Nyheter on July 10th.

The governing Alliance is somewhat divided on the issue with the Centre party sharing the Social Democratic party’s position and ruling out any cooperation with the Sweden Democrats while the Moderate party’s Christian Holm was unwilling to predict the future.

“I don’t think that we can rule out any situations with regard to elections. We have to ensure that the Alliance gains a stable majority,” Holm told Dagens Nyheter.