Sweden Democrats gain in church elections

Sweden Democrats gain in church elections
The Sweden Democrats more than doubled their support in Sunday's Church of Sweden elections, which were contested by only three of the main Riksdag parties as well as an assortment of other interest groups.

The party increased their following from 2.9 percent to 6 percent, according to preliminary results published on Monday morning, claiming some 15 seats in the General Synod which is the highest decision-making forum of the church.

The Sweden Democrats were one of only three parties represented in Sweden’s parliament involved in the election which is open for all members of the Church of Sweden.

The Social Democrats increased their support slightly to 29.3 percent while the Christian Democrats dropped from 7 percent in 2009 to 4.7 percent in 2013.

The Green Party in the Church of Sweden also added three mandates, polling 4.6 percent of the votes. The left “red-green” bloc claimed a total of 36 percent of the votes.

The Moderate Party elected not to take part in the elections for the first time.

The Borgerligt alternativ (Conservative Alternative), a grouping representing the three Alliance parties not competing directly in the election, polled 12.7 percent.

The biggest gains were made by the party political independent group which claimed over 15 percent, claiming some 38 seats in the General Synod to become the second largest political group behind the Social Democrats.

The turn out for the elections increased somewhat from 11.9 percent in 2009 to 12.7 percent in 2013. Aside for the General Synod, the elections are also held for parish councils and dioceses.

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