Moderates gain as opposition support drops: poll

Moderates gain as opposition support drops: poll
The opposition has hit a two year low in voter support, while the Moderate Party has reached heights not seen since the month following Sweden’s last election, according to a new survey.

But the overall difference in support between Sweden’s two main political blocs remains basically unchanged.

The January survey conducted by the Synovate polling firm shows the red-green opposition with voter support of 52.1 percent , while the governing centre-right Alliance claimed support from 42.9 percent of voters.

The opposition’s 9.2 percent advantage is about equal with the 9.3 percent lead it had in December.

The January survey is the second in a row in which the gap between the blocs has been less than 10 percent.

As the financial crisis has gathered pace over the last year, the gap between the blocs has been cut in half.

Synovate opinion analyst Jesper Källebring thinks the high support garnered by the Social Democrats a year ago stemmed from voter frustration with government policies rather than outright support for the opposition.

“Now as the government appears as if it has succeeded in managing the crisis, confidence in it and especially in the Moderates has increased,” he said to Dagens Nyheter (DN).

“At the same time, confidence in [Social Democratic party leader] Mona Sahlin has dropped following the confusion with collaboration [with the Green and Left Parties].”

Källebring thinks support for the two blocs could be close to equal if the government reacts skillfully during the continuing economic crisis.

“The three opposition parties only need to lose 4.5 percent to bring both blocs equal with one another,” he said.

The January tallies for each political party are as follows: Social Democrats: 40.1 percent (+0.1); Green Party: 6.0 (+0.4); Left Party: 6.0 (-1.2); Moderates: 26.8 (+0.1); Liberals (Folkpartiet): 5.9 (-0.6): Centre Party: 6.0 (+0.1); Christian Democrats: 4.1 (-0.4); Sweden Democrats: 3.7 (+1.1).