Alliance pulls away with a week to go: poll

The centre-right Alliance has extended its lead over the centre-left Red-Greens to almost ten percent with only a week to go before the Swedish general election, a new poll by Sifo showed.

For the second successive Sifo survey, which is published by the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) daily, the Alliance claimed an absolute majority with 51.7 percent of the vote, with the centre-left trailing with 42 percent, an increase of almost 2 points.

The Alliance has Sweden’s female voters to thank for the boost, SvD reported, with the centre-right enjoying the backing of 52.8 percent of the female voters, to 43.9 percent for the centre-left, a reverse of the situation in the spring.

“Generally speaking women are interested in welfare issues, but the Red-Greens have not managed to get the election campaign to be about welfare,” said Toivo Sjóren at Sifo to SvD.

The Social Democrats received the backing of 28.7 percent, a new record low and around six percentage points below their election result in 2006. In Stockholm the party has the support of just over 18 percent, the poll shows.

“We are no so close to the election that it is now just the election result that matters. We know that we have a lot of hard work ahead of us,” said Social Democrat party secretary Ibrahim Baylan to news agency TT.

Baylan attempted to play down the importance of the opinion polls and the latest Sifo indicating plunging support for the Social Democrats and the Red-Green coalition.

“Opinion surveys are all very well, but it is the Swedish people who decide this on September 19th,” he said.

Baylan remained upbeat, latching on the high number of undecided voters.

“We have a large number of television debates during the week. They will be decisive for all who have not yet decided. It is set to be an intense week, with full focus on election day,” he said.

Red-Green coalition partners, the Left and Green parties remained higher than the election result of 2006, with 6.2 and 7.1 percent respectively.

The Centre Party remains a cause of concern for the Alliance coalition, with 4.8 percent in the Sifo poll Maud Olofsson’s party are perilously close to the four percent threshold for parliamentary seats.

The Christian Democrats meanwhile bounced back 2.2 percentage points to 6.7 percent.

The far-right Sweden Democrats increased by 1 point to 4.6 percent. While this is sufficient to claim parliamentary seats, the party would not hold the balance of power.

Sifo/SvD’s poll results are based on interviews conducted with 1,435 people from September 6th-9th.

Sifo poll results, September 10th 2010 (changes since September 3rd 2010 in parentheses)


Moderate Party 31.4 (-0.3)

Centre Party 4.8 (-1.9)

Liberal Party 8.8 (+1.6)

Christian Democrats 6.7 (+2.2)

Total: 51.7 (Election 2006: 48.2)


Social Democrats 28.7 (no change)

Left Party 6.2 (+0.9)

Green Party 7.1 (-2.6)

Total: 42.0 (Election 2006: 46.1)

Sweden Democrats 4.6 (+1.0)

Others 1.9 (-0.8)

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Social Democrat leader backs Sweden’s harsh new immigration policies

The leader of Sweden's Social Democrat opposition has backed the harsh new policies on crime and immigration included in the new government's programme, and even signalled openness to the much-criticised begging ban.

Social Democrat leader backs Sweden's harsh new immigration policies

In an interview with the Expressen newspaper, Magdalena Andersson said her party was absolutely agreed on the need for a stricter immigration policy for Sweden, going so far as to take credit for the Social Democrats for the illiberal shift. 

“There is absolutely no question that need a strict set of migration laws,” she told the Expressen newspaper, rejecting the claims of Sweden Democrat Jimmie Åkesson that the government’s new program represented a “paradigm shift in migration policy”. 

“The paradigm shift happened in 2015, and it was us who carried it out,” she said. “The big rearrangement of migration policy was carried out by us Social Democrats after the refugee crisis of 2015, with a thoroughgoing tightening up of the policy.” 


She said that her party would wait and see what “concrete proposals” the new government ended up making, but she said the Social Democrats were not in principle against even the new government’s most criticised proposal: to slash the number of UN quota refugees from around 5,000 to 900. 

“That’s something we are going to look at,” she said. “It’s been at different levels at different points of time in Sweden.” 

Rather than criticise the new government for being too extreme on migration, Andersson even attacked it for not being willing to go far enough. 

The Social Democrats’ plan to tighten up labour market migration by bringing back the system of labour market testing, she said, was stricter than the plan to increase the salary threshold proposed by Ulf Kristersson’s new government.  

When it comes to the new government’s plans to bring in much tougher punishments for a string of crimes, Andersson criticised the new government for not moving fast enough. 

“What I think is important here is that there are a completed proposals for new laws already on the table which need to be put into effect,” she said. 

She also said she was not opposed to plans for a national ban on begging. 

“We Social Democrats believe that people should have the possibility to get educated, and work so they can support themselves,” she said. “That’s something we’ve believed in all along. You shouldn’t need to stand there holding your cap in your hand.” 

“It’s already possible to bring in a ban in certain municipalities today,” she continued. “So the question is really whether this should be regulated at a national or a local level. We did not decide at out national congress that it should be regulated at a national level, but when the inquiry publishes its conclusions, we will assess the advantages and disadvantages and decide on whether we will keep our position or change.” 

Where she was critical of the new government was in its failure to discuss how it would increase the budgets for municipalities and regional governments, who she said face being forced to drive through savage cuts in real spending to schools, healthcare and elderly care if they were not prioritised in the coming budget. 

“But that’s such a tiny part of this slottsavtal (“Mansion agreement”), and the government’s policy programme suggests they’ve missed something that should really be in focus for the government,” she said, warning that citizens should be braced for dramatic fall in the quality of welfare in the coming years. 

She said her party would also campaign against the new government’s plans to scrap Sweden’s goal of spending one percent of GDP on aid, and also against the new government’s plans to make it harder to build wind energy projects.