If a referendum on whether Sweden should introduce the euro had been held in May 2009, 43 percent of Swedes would have voted against it, while 42 percent would have voted in favour. The two sides have not been this close since the 2003 referendum, according to a poll by Statistics Sweden (SCB).
A noticeably larger number of men than women are positive towards the euro. Forty-seven percent of men would vote in the affirmative in a referendum, compared to 37 percent of women.
More women also report being unsure, with 17.5 percent answering “don’t know”, compared to only 12.7 percent of men.
“I am not entirely surprised; the trend has been that the gap is closing. But if it’s neck and neck in terms of public opinion, it’s a stalemate politically,” said Cecilia Skingsley, chief analyst at Swedbank.
“In our view it’s unlikely to come up even during the next term of government. There would have to be a long period of one or two years with a majority in favour of the euro for the politicians to change their position.”
The opposition parties do not want Sweden to hold a new referendum on the euro before the end of the next government term in 2014.
Their position was laid out in an opinion piece in Svenska Dagbladet on Tuesday regarding the Social Democratic, Green and Left parties’ common position on what the government should do when it assumes the EU presidency next month.
They state that their position on a new referendum is quite clear.
“We have the same opinion regarding the monetary union. A new referendum on introducing the euro should not be held between 2010-2014,” wrote Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin, Green Party spokespersons Peter Eriksson and Maria Wetterstrand, and Left Party leader Lars Ohly.
“We respect the results of the referendum and the promises made during the 2003 election. The government must now begin to speak with a single voice on this issue,” they continue, pointing to the Liberals’ call for a referendum within the next few years, and the Christian Democrats desire for a referendum during the next government term.