Refugee crisis

Poll: Swedes get behind stricter asylum rules

Poll: Swedes get behind stricter asylum rules
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visiting Malmö on Wednesday. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT
At least seven out of ten Swedes support the government's controversial decision to tighten asylum rules, a new survey has suggested.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's announcement earlier this week that Sweden would impose stricter asylum regulations and step up ID checks at the recently-introduced border controls did, however, attract some criticism: inhumane said some, while others called the move too little, too late.

But according to a fresh survey by major pollsters Sifo, at least seven out of ten Swedes support the new measures.

“The result is interesting, because we can tell that the new proposals get broad support,” Sifo head of public opinion Toivo Sjörén told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

However, the centre-left coalition government gets more support from the conservative opposition than from its own ranks. Eight out of ten voters for the four-party Alliance group believe the new measures are “very good” or “fairly good”, compared to only 50 percent of Social Democrat-Green voters.

Men and women alike said they supported the proposals, but the survey exposed a large age gap.

“You could say that the older you are, the more positive you are to the new requirements,” said Sjörén.

The survey was carried out from November 24th-25th, following the government's announcement of a series of strict new changes that will see the Nordic country only offer temporary residence permits to those refugees it is obligated to help according to international conventions.

According to the Swedish Migration Agency, the number of refugees arriving dropped by 30 percent after the country reinstated border controls in southern parts of the country in mid-November.

In October it doubled its refugee forecast for 2015, with up to 190,000 new arrivals expected on Swedish soil over the whole of 2015.

DEBATE: 'Swedes can still hold their heads high'

The Sifo poll asked 1,000 people what they thought of the government's proposals to tighten asylum policies. They responded:

39 percent: very good

30 percent: fairly good

9 percent: fairly bad

6 percent: very bad

15 percent: don't know