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New high in number of 'pro-refugee' Swedes

Rebecca Martin · 14 Apr 2011, 13:20

Published: 14 Apr 2011 13:20 GMT+02:00

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"We have seen the trend moving in this direction over a long period of time. The Swedish people are getting more urban and most are highly educated, which breeds more tolerance," Marie Demker of University of Gothenburg told The Local.

According to the figures, the number of Swedes who are of the opinion that Sweden should receive less refugees decreased in 2010 from 46 percent to 42 percent.

At the same time the number of people who think that Sweden should receive more refugee immigrants increased to 30 percent.

Both these figures are the most favourable since the polls were first begun in the 1990s.

Paradoxically, the data in the study was collected in 2010, the same year that the far-right Sweden Democrats successfully campaigned on an openly anti-immigrant platform, gaining representation in the Riksdag for the first time with 5.7 percent of the vote.

“There is always going to be a small group of people who want the Swedish culture to stay unmixed, and is the first time that they have a party to mobilise them,” Demker said.

She thinks that the Sweden Democrats have gone from being a party openly condemning Sweden’s policy on immigration to becoming one that takes a critical stance towards it.

The party has calmed down and worked on their organisation and are likely to maintain their presence on the political map of Sweden, according to Demker.

Whether the Sweden Democrats will be able to mobilise new voters is another matter and depends in part on Sweden's other political parties, as well as how good the party is at pursuing questions that may sway voters over to their side.

Despite the increase in the number of Swedes positive toward refugee immigration, the figures from the SOM-Institute nevertheless reveal that a majority of Swedes remain cool toward the idea of accepting more refugees.

But according to Demker the shift towards a more positive outlook on immigration is a long term development. And Swedes in general are more positive to immigration and less xenophobic than many other countries.

“Even those who are answering in the negative may be having concerns regarding political problems, such as immigrants on the Swedish labour market or segregated housing areas, rather than a xenophobic outlook,” said Demker.

Story continues below…

Demker thinks that this positive attitude towards immigration and refugees will continue to develop, although she is aware it must plateau at some point.

"But Sweden isn’t becoming less cosmopolitan and globally connected. And as long as we don’t face any wars or natural disasters I can’t see it changing in the opposite direction," she said.

The survey was carried out by the SOM-Institute at Gothenburg University and 5,000 Swedes took part.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:20 April 14, 2011 by StockholmSam
There are also more immigrants in Sweden than ever before, which could be a factor in the shift in attitudes revealed by the study. In other words, 15 years ago such a study might interview a thousand people of which only 25 were immigrants. Today, a polling group of similar size would probably yield 150+ respondents with immigrant backgrounds.
14:22 April 14, 2011 by Boyfriend
Swedes are very smart and love the human, The Swedes had worst time back in 18-1900 talet . They still remember how the immigrants feel when they run away from war and wants to in live in peace.

Look at the Japan city in a few minutes the complete city were cleaned and nobody can live there anymore. We never know what would happen to this world and therefore we should maintenance ourselves , We should create a history of loving nation to be record in the History and if one day some thing happen to us then we should proudly live in another country.

After all we are from the parents Adam and Eve :)

O you mankind! We have created you of a male and a female, and then We made you into races and tribes so that you may know each other. Surely the most honourable of you in Allah's sight is the one who is the most pious among you; surely Allah is All-Knowing and Aware. (49:13)

I am very to read today a good news :)
14:43 April 14, 2011 by jomamas
This leftist garbage which tries to equate 'more refugees' with 'intelligence' will be the end of Sweden.

I for one, have more education than the average Swede and am certain that the number of migrants overall should be reduced.

'Educated' Swedes should be able to grasp basic math: there will be no more Sweden in 50 years.

Look around fools: you are the last generation of Swedes.
15:06 April 14, 2011 by planet.sweden
Swedish conformism, again.

Actually it's living proof that the Swedes are simply a nation of conformists and will swallow whatever line the government, media and establishment feed them. Going against the grain is not a Swedish trait.

If Hitler had ever made it into Stockholm he would have discovered he had a pliant nation at his dosposal, ditto Stalin. Whether it's the Swastika or the Hammer & Sickle the Swedes would have embraced both with equal enthusiasm, just as long as the government told them it was the right thing to do.

And of course its really not surprising that the Swedish establishment seek to put a positive, complimentary spin on events when the Swedes behave as instructed, (Oh Bra! I always go along with what the gov tells me, now I know this makes me "more educated"? thinks Anna of Linköping). However please don't expect independent foreign thinkers to be led around by the nose in similar fashion.
15:14 April 14, 2011 by Maddeshusband
You could twist this article around completely by taking a different approach as a journalist.

The facts given in the article says:

Swedes who wants fewer refugees = 42 %

Swedes who wants more refugees = 30 %

The headline could have been "Swedes wants to take on fewer refugees"...
15:37 April 14, 2011 by TheOneWhoTravels
That is exactly right Maddeshusband. According to the data, Swedes are actually decidedly, substantively, significantly AGAINST mass refugee immigration. As in a slam-dunk no questions asked dead-bolt lock.

But noooooo, The Local takes that information and spins it into a "pro-refugee" headline! What a joke!
15:40 April 14, 2011 by Syftfel
How can anyomne not be "pro-refugee" when it comes to individuals who are truly "refugees"? But doesn't there need to be an asterisk to the above story? I don't think by being "pro-regugee" one tells the whole story. How about being "pro-refugee" for those who are not simply lazy "economic refugees", and come to enjoy the fruits that the Swedish tax payers provide, without giving anything in return? Another asterisk should state that any refugee so granted lawful residence MUST integrate and adopt Swedish culture and language? How about a clause that any "refugee" who commits a crime, or violates the conditions of his "refugee" status WILL (not "may") be deported? I think the above story is written by someone with an excessively rosy picture of how Swedes really feel, and is trying to falsely present Swedish opinion to something which appears to have ulterior motives. In other words it's not as simple as the headline might suggest. And that's exactly where SD fits in. See you at the ballot box next time.
15:43 April 14, 2011 by StockholmSam
Hey The One Who Travels, the Local doesn't spin anything...they simply translate articles written in other periodicals.
15:44 April 14, 2011 by martiancat
StockholmSam, spot on!

Maddeshusband, also spot on!

I was at an IKEA (in Holland) the other weekend and I could literally count the european people, me and bf included, on fingers of my hands only. Now I don't say either bad or good, but that's Holland, there are something like 5x more people here than in Sweden... and they disappear in the masses these days.

As I said about the deported to the wrong place family, just don't let them stay for lying so blatantly.
15:53 April 14, 2011 by truthworthy
I am positive about the coming demise of SD. Xenophobes with a little number of Swedes who like to try new things have voted for them and probably wont do the same mistake again after realizing how these morons behave. These racists will diminish from the Swedish political scene by next election.
16:20 April 14, 2011 by TheOneWhoTravels
It's not even remotely "racist" or "xenophobic" to be against unfettered mass immigration. Or to want your native country to fight to retain its cultural heritage.

I'm sure 99.9% of SD members would have no problem with a little bit of normal immigration to Sweden here and there, even if it was dark-skinned Muslim people. A handful of college students in Stockholm or Linköping every once in a while. Maybe some of them end up settling in sweden permanently. An engineer from India going to work for Volvo in Trollhättan. Whatever, stuff like that. A few normal immigrants from time to time.

The problem is the insane militant-political-correctness-run-amok liberal immigration policies allowing, no DEMANDING, an absolute tidal wave of refugee immigration that can't possibly be supported in a DELIBERATE effort to dilute traditional Swedish culture and society.
16:27 April 14, 2011 by Syftfel
@truthworthy: Nice going sweetie pie. After reading my contribution in #7 above, do you think that I'm a moron, a xenophobe, and a racist too? Please instruct.
18:52 April 14, 2011 by technoviking
What an obvious slant. Most Swedes are clearly against increasing refugees.

Being pro-refugee for human rights reasons to keep people from being killed does not mean being pro open borders for anyone who wants to come milk the Swedish welfare system.

If this is worded as only relating to human rights refugees, you'll have a hard time equating that to being pro-open borders.

And I doubt this poll was taken AFTER the Stockholm bombing.

The next election will tell the truth.
18:54 April 14, 2011 by refugee
It is really difficult to make a judgment ...on one hand the Swedes has good culture .I have even respect for Swedish culture and and also want to remain as it is .. .. it would have been better if couldn't mixed ..

but that is not the reality as on the other hand they are also part of the world and can not escape from the reality due to political crises in different parts of the glob ...plus they should also practice the Geneva Convention of 1951 as they were one of the contacting parties... the solution can be reconciling both pros and cons of the issues ..

Moreover one should not forget that all refugee may not be undisciplined...at least some of them can change there personality and adapt to the new environment ,and live in accordance to Swedish culture..I believe education is a key for this ..
19:11 April 14, 2011 by martiancat
@refugee, agreed, education is a key. also for women though. general statement about the men who think otherwise.
19:27 April 14, 2011 by jimmy1988
A detail: Many Foreigners have Swedish Citizenship so they count as Swedes. So! 5000 of those people interview how many where Ethnic Swedes? Because if most of them are foreigners or all of them is normal that they are defending immigration and refugees.
19:47 April 14, 2011 by jimthat
i dont believe this is a trusteable poll

seems like being handled to favor immigration deliberatedly

this is part of a sistem that for example we see in he movies where allways there is a white man who is very good looking very bad and very supid being defeated by a triad of a black a jew and a gay who are very smart very kind good feeligs and intelligent who punish this mean white man .

so the brainwashing goes on

and this affect more the child who can became easly anty swedish anty white and play the game of this people
20:14 April 14, 2011 by Maddeshusband
The question is: how can you be allowed, as a bearded man in a dress, to pass a dozen (at least) EU borders Without seeking refugee status, and then suddenly when you reach Sweden, you consider yourself a refugee..?

Isn´t refugee status meant to be for people who have to cross a border to be safe, not half the world?

Sweden took a lot of refugees from Finland during WWII, i can understand that, but people coming here from effing central Africa, i just don´t get it.

Swedes are naiive, or they want to be fooled....
21:03 April 14, 2011 by waffen
I go along with the immigration policies in Denmark.

Sweden should adopt similar policies.

Most of the commenters see the problem with unrestricted immigrants. The current immigration policy must be changed.
21:11 April 14, 2011 by Swedesmith
Nobody interviewed me.
21:33 April 14, 2011 by jacquelinee
I nener took the poll either? HMMMMM????? How many of us writing here were given this "poll"?
22:40 April 14, 2011 by swedejane
"It's not even remotely "racist" or "xenophobic" to be against unfettered mass immigration. Or to want your native country to fight to retain its cultural heritage"

Well, yeah it's both racist and xenophobic...I'm sure we would all be surprised to learn what you think those words actually mean.
23:17 April 14, 2011 by TheOneWhoTravels
"Well, yeah it's both racist and xenophobic.."

No, it isn't.

By your apparent logic Swedes can either embrace and accept unfettered mass refugee immigration that the country cannot possibly ever hope to absorb over the long term - and embrace & support it BECAUSE it will ultimately dilute and fundamentally change the makeup of Swedish society and culture - or you're "racist" and "xenophobic." That kind of logic is nuts.
23:17 April 14, 2011 by Njal
There are few more 'crooked' policies in Western governments than that of immigration. Across the board the world over, multiculturalism (the less rabid form of immigration), has completely failed, what makes anyone believe that easier immigration laws will benefit their respective countries?

The best place for ANYBODY, is in their homelands. But to place a group of middle easterners/africans in Scandinavia and hope they behave as the locals do, is just complete nonsense.

If refugees have to leave their homes because America bombed their lands, then let the Yanks take care of them with as much eagerness as they did as when they (American Warmachine) were bombing them (refugees), but you'll never convince me that middle easterners/africans have a rightful place in Sweden.

Certainly not because any politician told me so.
07:55 April 15, 2011 by Marc the Texan
I really hate the way the left has hijacked the words 'xenophobe, xenophobia', etc. to brand anyone who does not agree with mass immigration. Especially when the immigrants are functionally disabled from integrating into the host country due to their own cultural ossification and inability to adapt or accept western cultural norms.
07:58 April 15, 2011 by RobinHood
I am a bit dubious about these results. They do not correlate with the substantial increase in support for the SD at the last election. A much more accurate survey than this one I think.

The survey was carried out by the SOM-Institute at Göteborg University.

If you stop 5 000 people randomly in Göteborg, 25% of them will be immigrants, or the descendants of immigrants. If you go to the normal surveyors' hunting grounds (shopping centres) the proportion of immigrants increases.

Did the surveyors canvass native Swedes, or all Swedes? I suspect the results would be significantly different, depending on which group they chose to ask.
09:36 April 15, 2011 by ooh456
Immigration to Sweden is not a good idea for uneducated, religious people who are used to warm climates. Sweden should realize their country is not suitable and let them go somewhere else... like America!
14:50 April 15, 2011 by samwise
if swedes are really against taking in more immigrants, why do they keep voting for people supporting policies for more immigrants? Is it because they also promise welfare to the voters?
16:08 April 15, 2011 by Yunis
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Who has a bigger right to live in England: Me, a pleasing brown-skinned briton of Pakistani descent OR an Englishman (a pig covered in human excrement)?
12:08 April 16, 2011 by foordranata
What a stoopid survey. Just shows how the subject is handled as a mathematical portion in an equation.

It does not work like that with humans.

Immigration & multiculturalism is really not such a big deal. We humans are all same s*hit. Someone just made it a big deal and the whole thing shot through the roof.

That´s what I think.
17:36 April 16, 2011 by planet.sweden
16:08 April 15, 2011 by Yunis

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Who has a bigger right to live in England: Me, a pleasing brown-skinned briton of Pakistani descent OR an Englishman (a pig covered in human excrement)?"

Thanks for illustrating one more time why immigration from Muslim countries in particular to Europe is such a terrible idea. Now, away with you, back to your mud hut in the Punjab, leaving the British alone in their own country, thank you.
20:53 April 16, 2011 by jimthat
the whole europe is now allmost half black .

in some 20 -30 years the white people will be a ridiculous curiosity europe will be black
01:20 April 17, 2011 by Njal
@ Yunis

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Who has a bigger right to live in England: Me, a pleasing brown-skinned briton of Pakistani descent OR an Englishman (a pig covered in human excrement)? "

``Who has a bigger right to live in England`

You`re either incredibly naive or stupid or both, which is it

What's the matter Yunis? Have you only now just come to the conclusion that you're unwanted in civilized lands (West), doesn't stop you from wanting to be here now tho' does it ( it`s called a `hypocrite`in English, if you`re wondering)?

I'd take the pig anyday over you.
17:36 April 18, 2011 by Alasdair MacCorquodale
How many of those expressing approval of immigation, are in fact already naturalised Swedes? - i.e. voting for themselves. Immigrants will welcome the expansion of future immigrant numbers. They will feel a greater sense of their own security if they are surrounded by yet further numbers of their own kind.
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