Swedes back pensioner king to carry on

A majority of Swedes are in favour of King Carl XVI Gustaf remaining on the throne despite reaching the pension age in 2011.

Swedes back pensioner king to carry on
King Carl Gustaf and Crown Princess Victoria at Tyresta National Park, May 2009

The king has the support of 62 percent of Swedes to carry on and not abdicate in favour of his daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, according to a new poll by Synovate published in Dagens Nyheter (DN) on Monday.

While the crown princess, whose marriage to Daniel Westling is the summer highlight of the royal calender, remains the most popular member of the royal family, Swedes feels that she should wait before assuming the throne, the poll shows.

“There is no strong call for Victoria to take over,” Synovate opinion analyst Nicklas Källebring told DN.

Support for the king to remain on the throne is stronger among men than women, and among centre-right voters than left. Support for Victoria to take over when the king reaches the pension age of 65 next year is strongest amongst Left Party voters, with 30 percent backing an abdication.

The poll also shows a slight division between rural and urban Sweden with city-dwellers giving greater backing to the king’s continued reign.

A large majority are in favour of the king continuing until death, or serious illness, while 15 percent were in favour of setting a time limit. Only 1 percent want a change to happen immediately.

The monarchy remains highly popular in Sweden with 74 percent expressing support in a 2009 Synovate poll and only 19 percent favouring the abolition. Support has however declined somewhat in recent years.

The status of the monarchy is not uncontroversial however with members of parliament over-represented in their republican views. Sweden’s newly appointed EU affairs minister Birgitta Ohlsson is a former chairperson of the Republikanska Föreningen (RF), the leading republican association in Sweden.

DN/Synovate interviewed 1,038 for the poll conducted from February 22nd-25th.

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