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Majority of Swedes back snap election in 2015

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Majority of Swedes back snap election in 2015
Sweden is holding a snap election. Photo: TT
07:31 CET+01:00
More than two thirds of Swedes have backed Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's decision to call a fresh election next March according to a new poll, while Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson has been tipped to make a comeback for the vote.

In the wake of Löfven's announcement of the first Swedish snap election since 1958, over a thousand people were asked if they felt it was the right decision, in an opinion poll carried out by the Expressen newspaper in tandem with research consultancy Demoskop. 

The results suggested most backed Löfven's decision, with 69 percent agreeing he should have called the fresh vote, compared with 29 percent who disagreed and two percent who were undecided.

However the snap opinion poll also revealed that those surveyed felt that the current Prime Minister bore the greatest responsibility for the current crisis.

48 percent of people said they blamed Stefan Löfven, while 47 percent said Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson was the key reason for Sweden's political chaos.

 
The Centre Party leader Annie Lööf was deemed the third most responsible for the crisis, with 38 percent of survey respondents pointing to her role.
 
Former Prime Minister and Moderate Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt was near the foot of the blame table with 16 percent.

"It is clear that it becomes very polarized based on party sympathies," Anders Lindholm, managing director for Demoskop told Expressen.

Meanwhile sources within the Sweden Democrats have suggested that absent party leader Jimmie Åkesson will make a return to front-line politics in advance of the March election.

Åkesson is currently on extended sick leave citing exhaustion caused by the stress of campaigning for the September election.

After sinking the current government's budget, the nationalist party has pledged to make the new vote an "immigration referendum."

Sweden Democrat adviser Ian Wachtmeister told Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper that he thought Åkesson would emerge to lead his party just in time for the vote.

"We have said that we will play golf soon. The timing is probably just right for him to return in time for the election," said Wachtmeister.

 
Party sources disclosed to Aftonbladet that Åkesson was considering a February comeback. They also stated that his sick leave status could even bring the party more support from people who feel sorry for him.
 
"Åkesson should come back thoroughly rested. And he has got a lot of sympathy from ordinary people for his sick leave," said the source.

The group's acting leader Mattias Karlsson has said he is happy to remain in charge if Åkesson decides to stay out of the spotlight.

He told The Local on Wednesday that the party had used its ‘kingmaker’ role in reaction to the government's pro-immigration policies.

"Sweden has most extreme immigration policy in Europe and the government wanted to make it more extreme," he said.

Elsewhere the Swedish Moderate Party has announced that it has brought forward the date for when party members will will elect their new party leader.

The Moderates have been without a permanent head since Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down after his election loss. The party was due to elect his successor in March. Following the snap election decision, the date for the meeting of the party congress has been brought forward to January 10th.

The Local/pr 

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