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MPs support Sweden Democrats isolation: poll

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08:58 CEST+02:00
Of the 148 Swedish members of parliament from across the party spectrum interviewed in a new survey, 66 percent are prepared to cooperate across the political blocs to ensure a stable government if the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) enter parliament.

The survey, commissioned by the Göteborg-Posten (GP) newspaper, comes after a voter opinion poll published on Tuesday which indicates that the anti-immigrant nationalist party held the support of 6.5 percent of the electorate and could thus hold the balance of power after the September general election.

Parliamentarians in favour of working to marginalise the Sweden Democrats argue that parties should cooperate to prevent them from attaining a possible kingmaker role.

But support is not unanimous with 19 percent ruling out a cooperation across the blocs and 15 percent responding that they were uncertain on what to do.

GP interviewed 148 of the 349 members of the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag.

SD representatives have argued in response that the survey's results indicate a lack of respect for the electorate.

"Many would feel let down, which I think would benefit us in the longer term," William Petzäll, SD press secretary, said to GP.

The United Minds-Cint poll, published in the Aftonbladet daily on Tuesday, handed the Sweden Democrats a record 6.5 percent support - well above the four

percent threshold for entering parliament.

The poll also indicated that nearly 46 percent of people intended to vote for the ruling centre-right coalition while 45 percent said they would vote for the centre-left opposition coalition, leaving neither side able to attain a stable majority of parliamentary seats.

With less than a percentage point difference between the two main blocs, SD, would likely hold the balance of power, observers said.

"It is probable that we will have a very messy parliamentary situation after the election," Carl Melin of United Minds said.

All of Sweden's parliamentary parties have ruled out cooperating with the Sweden Democrats, which has never held any parliamentary seats but is represented in several municipalities across the country.

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