A voter survey carried out by the United Minds polling firm and published on Monday in the Aftonbladet newspaper shows voter support for the Sweden Democrats has reached 11.2 percent, the party’s highest-ever result.
The results come from a survey held between October 11th and November 14th which shows the party in a clear third place behind the Social Democrats (31 percent) and Moderates (27.8 percent).
The same polling firm showed in June that the far-right party had support of 8.7 percent of voters, meaning the party’s popularity has risen 2.5 percentage points in five months.
“We’ve been moving forward in all opinion polls in all the institutes over the past two months. It is a pleasant development for us. This is probably correlated with the development of society where the question of immigration has become more prominent,” Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson told Aftonbladet.
The Sweden Democrats’ results are twice as high as when the party came into the Riksdag in 2010, with Åkesson explaining that the public has had the time to get used to the far-right political party.
“We have not been a proper alternative before because we have found ourselves on the outside, but now we’ve been in the Riksdag for a couple of years and the voters have had the time to get an understanding of us,” he said.
The poll results come after the party made moves in October to change their image, after being seen as “angry, young men” in the media.
“The Sweden Democrats are making progress in both big cities and among women, but a majority of voters still have a very negative view of the party,” explained United Minds analyst Carl Melin to the paper.
Meanwhile, poll results by other polling firms have also shown that the Sweden Democrats have had high levels of support.
This has prompted Foreign Minister Carl Bildt to suggest the party is “trying to isolate Sweden from the rest of the world” and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to label the party as nothing more than internet-based provocateurs “dressed up in suits”.
A total of 1,255 people were surveyed in the poll, and were asked “Who would you vote for if the election was today?”