The poll’s results indicate that party leader Håkan Juholt’s “I’m sorry” tour of Sweden may be starting to pay off. The Social Democratic leader has spent the past three weeks criscrossing the country, visiting local party groups and making amends for the housing subsidies scandal revealed in late October.
When news of Juholt’s faulty payments first broke, Social Democratic support plummeted by five percent units in a matter of weeks. It soon transpired, however, that the Riksdag Administration’s reimbursement forms were less than clear on rules for rental reimbursement, and that several other MPs had done exactly as Juholt.
The party’s freefall in public opinion now appears to have stopped, and even reversed, but the party still has some way to go before returning to the support figures it enjoyed prior to the scandal.
“The party has taken a serious hit in public opinion. They’re still way below what they had before this whole Juholt affair,” said Sören Holmberg, professor in political science, to Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).
While the Social Democrats are on the rise, the Moderate Party have lost two percentage units since the last poll, coming in at 32.8 percent.
Despite this, the four parties in government – the Moderates, the Centre Party, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals (Folkpartiet) – still enjoy a lead over the opposition by 6.1 percentage units, 49.3 percent against the opposition’s 43.2 percent.
The Centre Party, with new leader Annie Lööf, have increased their support by 1.5 percentage units, reaching 6.7 percent.
“The attention around the change of leadership has obviously helped the party along,” said Sören Holmberg to SvD.
The poll results have been published in several daily newspapers.
Results of Sifo’s November poll, with the change against the last poll, from October 23, in brackets:
Moderates 32.8 (-2.0)
Liberal Party 6.6 (+0.6)
Centre Party 6.7 (+1.5)
Christian Democrats 3.2 (-0.8)
Social Democrats 27.4 (+1.9)
Left Party 5.8 (-0.6)
Green Party 10.0 (-0.6)
Sweden Democrats 6.7 (+0.8)
Other parties 0.8 (-0.8)