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Wallström voters' pick for Prime Minister: poll

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Wallström voters' pick for Prime Minister: poll
11:54 CET+01:00
Social Democrat Margot Wallström is a more popular choice than Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to lead the country, according to a new poll. The result follows speculation surrounding a secret plan to oust opposition leader Mona Sahlin.

The poll, published in newspaper Expressen, reveals 52 percent of voters support former EU commissioner Wallström for the job compared to 46 percent who continue to back Reinfeldt.

Moderate Party head of communications Pär Henriksson told Expressen the figures are not based on a relevant question.

”The opposition leader is Mona Sahlin and she will stand against Fredrik Reinfeldt,” he said. “There is no other alternative.”

Wallström, whose position in Brussels concluded at the end of last year, is heading back to continue her political career Sweden.

The 55-year old has enjoyed long-standing support from colleagues and popularity among voters. Party secretary Ibrahim Baylan said her future within the party, specifically ahead of this year's General Election, has not yet been decided.

”I think it is wonderful that she is popular and I hope and think she will take part in the campaign but I do not know in what role,” he told Expressen.

On Friday, newspaper Metro revealed a secret crisis plan, hatched by Sahlin's strongest critics in Skåne and western Sweden, to oust the leader out of the party's driving seat.

While the opposition is currently commanding the lead in polls against the centre-right alliance government, voters show more confidence in Reinfeldt over Sahlin as leader.

Metro reported that that a number of Social Democrat politicians have outlined a strategy to replace Sahlin with Wallström, who would assume the roll of candidate for Prime Minister for the time being.

”I wouldn't have anything against it,” said Claes Bloch, former chair of the Skåne division of Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO).

”It wouldn't be a great scandal if this happened,” added Dennis Bäckman, Social Democrat parliamentary candidate, who publicly started a petition to remove Sahlin from office.

A secret document allegedly obtained by Metro explains the hopes of those leading the charge - with Margot Wallström as candidate for Prime Minister the election victory is sealed.

It also stated that it would be a certainty that Wallström would accept the roll ”if a the party unanimously asked her.”

Metro contacted Mona Sahlin who refused to comment on the issue.

The plan has been labelled as sheer rumour mongering by some Social Democrat politicians who also point the finger at alliance parties for mounting the speculation.

”I dare to speak for the whole of the Skåne district that this is a load of hot air,” Heléne Fritzon, chair of the Social Democratic party in Skåne, told Aftonbladet.

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