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Opposition hold the upper hand: poll

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10:00 CEST+02:00
The opposition red-green coalition have the support of 49.2 percent of the Swedish electorate, an established lead over the governing Alliance on 44.4 percent, a new voter poll from Sifo shows.

The opposition parties of the Social Democrats, Green and Left parties have increased their lead by 1.4 percentage points since the Sifo September poll and now enjoy the support of an extra 280,000 voters in comparison to the Alliance.

Both the Christian Democrats and the far-right Sweden Democrats have climbed above the 4 percent threshold needed to claim parliamentary seats at a general election, with 4.3 and 4.7 percent respectively.

The Sweden Democrats thereby achieved their strongest poll showing yet. The increase in support has come from voters which had not previously registered a preference, according to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, which published the poll.

The far-right party has also claimed voters from both the centre-right Moderates and centre-left Social Democrats.

A further poll on Sunday however indicates that the Alliance parties have a nose in front as Sweden enters the final year before a general election in September 2010.

In the Skop poll the Alliance coalition commands a 0.7 point lead after losing 2.1 points since the last poll to 47.8 percent. The opposition have clawed back some 1.2 points in the meantime and currently enjoy the support of 47.1 percent.

"It is in practice a dead heat between the blocs," Skop's Birgitta Hultåker explained in a press release.

In contrast to the Sifo poll, the Skop survey indicates that the Sweden Democrats are below the threshold for parliamentary seats at 3.6 percent.

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