If Swedish parliamentary elections had been held in May, the opposition parties would have emerged victorious, according to the SCB poll, one of the most closely followed measures of Swedish voters’ sympathies.
“The Social Democrats appear to have a long honeymoon,” Michael Arthursson, party secretary for the Centre Party, told the TT news agency.
His party, along with the Moderates, the Christian Democrats, and the Liberals (Folkpartiet) received support from a combined 45.4 percent of voters in the poll, which asked respondents which party they would vote for if the election were held today.
Meanwhile, the three centre-left opposition parties – the Greens, the Left Party, and the Social Democrats – notched 47.4 percent.
According to SCB, the differences between the two political blocs is statistically significant.
The far-right Sweden Democrats received 5.7 percent, while 1.5 percent of voters indicating they supported other political parties.
Among the centre-left parties, the Social Democrats would have received 34 percent of the votes, the Left Party 4.5 percent, and the Green Party 8.9 percent.
“Since the party congress we’ve had a new start which means that we’ve got the winds at our back and a little more self-confidence. And we’ve been able to start talking about policies again,” Social Democrat party secretary Carin Jämtin told TT in an attempt to explain the upswing in opinion.
According to Jämtin, the party has been able to control the political discussion regarding healthcare and employment issues in relation to child poverty.
It remains to be seen, however, if the party’s increasing voter support will continue.
The Centre Party received 4.5 percent of voter support in the May poll, while the Liberals received 6.0 percent and the Moderates received 31.1 percent.
The only 3.8 percent of respondents to the poll indicated they supported the Christian Democrats, leaving the party below the 4 percent threshold required to maintain representation in the Riksdag.
The Center Party’s Arthursson called the poll result “a really low figure” for his party.
He added that more or less all the parties lost voters to the Social Democrats compared to an SCB poll taken in November 2010.
The Social Democrats have seen their support increase both in comparison to the November poll and to their catastrophic election results of 30.7 percent, and according to SCB, the increase is statistically significant.
The same is true for the Green Party’s increase in support to 8.9 percent from their election result of 8.9 percent, as well as the decrease in support for the Left Party compared to its election results of 5.6 percent.
Among parties on the centre-right, the decreases in support compared to election results for the Centre Party (6.6 percent) and the Liberals (7.1 percent) are also statistically significant.
While the May poll results show a statistically significant drop in support for the Moderate Party compared to SCB’s November poll, the figure actually represents a statistically significant increase in support compared to the party’s election result of 30.1 percent.
Poll results for the Sweden Democrats constitute a statistically significant reduction in support compared to the November SCB poll, but not compared to the September election results which allowed the party to enter the Riksdag for the very first time.