Poll: Sweden Democrats stagnate as left gains

Poll: Sweden Democrats stagnate as left gains
Jimmie Åkesson, leader of the Sweden Democrats. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
Despite the recent media focus on the Sweden Democrat’s primary campaigning issue, immigration, Sweden’s right-wing nationalist party has seen its support remain steady in the latest poll, while left-wing parties have seen their approval ratings rebound.

The Sweden Democrats have moved forward in a series of opinion polls recently but in a new Sifo survey, published on Sunday in the Swedish newspapers Svenska Dagbladet and Göteborgs Posten, the party’s support remains virtually unchanged at 17.7 percent, compared to 17.8 percent last month.

Meanwhile the Left Party has seen a mini-surge in support to become the fourth largest party on 7.3 percent, up from 6.5 percent, the Feminist Initiative enjoyed small gains from 1.7 percent to 2.4 percent, and the governing Social Democrats also saw their backing rebound slightly from 26.3 percent to 27 percent.

The main opposition party, the centre-right Moderates, were the biggest losers, dropping to 22.8 percent from 24.5 percent.

“It is surprising that the Sweden Democrats’ support has not improved,” political scientist Ulf Bjereld told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

“Many Sweden Democrat members had probably hoped for a surge when the refugee issue received so much attention as it’s their main issue,” Bjereld said, referring to the current European refugee crisis.

Meanwhile, the figures indicate that the Sweden Democrats are still the largest party among men in Sweden – one in four would vote for the Sweden Democrats if the election were today. 

The Moderates and the Social Democrats would receive 22.8 and 22.4 percent of male voters' support, respectively.

The Sweden Democrats, who are critical of Sweden's generous immigration policies, have seen their support rise steadily since they scored 12.9 percent in the country's last general election in September 2014.