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Overwhelming support for Reinfeldt over Sahlin

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Overwhelming support for Reinfeldt over Sahlin
13:03 CEST+02:00
60 percent of Swedes expressed faith in Fredrik Reinfeldt as prime minister in a new voter survey published by Sifo on Friday.

Only a third as many would prefer to see opposition Social Democrat party leader Mona Sahlin in the post, who can lay claim to just 20 percent of voter support.

19 percent of Swedes remained undecided as Sweden shortly enters a general election year.

The Sifo poll, carried out on behalf of public relations firm Westander, asked 1,000 Swedes the question: "Who do you have the greater confidence in as prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt or Mona Sahlin?"

Within his own Moderate Party, Reinfeldt enjoys almost 100 percent support, a luxury not afforded to Sahlin by members of the Social Democrats.

Sahlin achieved her highest level of in-party support in November 2007, when 73 percent of party members polled expressed confidence in their leader.

But her stock has fallen in the wake of the financial crisis, as a downward trend has become increasingly apparent. This year alone her support within the ranks of the Social Democrats has dipped from 61 percent in February to 55 percent in May and just 50 percent in August.

Sahlin succeeded former prime minster Göran Persson as head of the party in March 2007.

A born-and-bred Social Democrat, she joined its youth wing in her early teens and rose through the ranks to become the party's first woman secretary in 1992.

She has held several cabinet posts throughout her career, and has served as deputy prime minister.

Sahlin is however a controversial figure within the party and was not the first choice for the leadership, winning the nomination by default after several other heavyweights bowed out of the race.

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