Poll: Finance crisis boosts Moderates

Fredrik Reinfeldt's Moderate party has gained voter support during the financial crisis, a new poll from Synovate indicates. The Moderates now have the support of 24 percent of voters, up 2.4 points in a month.

Support for the opposition Social Democrats has instead declined by 3.2 percentage points and Mona Sahlin’s party now has the support of 42.5 percent of the electorate.

Sahlin’s widely criticized exclusion, and subsequent u-turn, of the Left party from coalition discussions with the Social Democrats and the Green party, occurred during the polling period.

The difference between the two political blocs remains large however with the governing four-party Alliance holding the backing of 41.3 percent of voters while the three-party opposition remains in a commanding lead with 54 percent of voter sympathies.

Social Democrat party secretary Marita Ulvskog believes that the changes can be explained by the attention paid to the Moderates in recent weeks, with the autumn budget given as a an example of a hot media topic.

“Aside from this we have been hit by an acute financial crisis which has placed the government in the centre of contacts with other countries and banking systems. The focus then shifts to the prime minister and the finance minister and this shines through in the statistics,” said Marita Ulvskog.

Ulvskog denied that this was necessarily confirmation that voters supported the government’s budget proposal and action to tackle the finance crisis.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that, but it is clear that when one is in opposition suggestions can be made that can not be realized while a government can present proposals and realize them soon after,” Ulvskog added.

Ulvskog denied also that party leader Mona Sahlin’s u-turn in negotiations with the Left party have had an impact in the polls but conceded that the large Social Democratic lead is likely to narrow as the next election approaches.

“That is how it always goes in Swedish elections,” she said.

Synovate interviewed 2,954 people between September 29th and October 16th.