Social Democrats unharmed by IT scandal, polls suggest

The Sweden Democrats are losing support with just over a year to go to Sweden's next general election, while the ruling Social Democrats may be gaining ground, according to new polls.

Social Democrats unharmed by IT scandal, polls suggest
Stefan Löfven, centre, with ministers Peter Hultqvist and Annika Strandhäll. Photo: Erik Simander/TT

The Sweden Democrat party, which is known for its anti-immigration platform, drops by 3.5 percentage points in the latest election poll by Demoskop on behalf of the Expressen tabloid.

That puts support for the party at 16.6 percent, which means it also loses its place as the second-biggest party in the polls to the centre-right Moderates, whose support grows to 17.2 percent.

However, another poll also released on Thursday still has the Sweden Democrats as the second-largest party, with both it and the Moderates seeing a slight drop (more information below).

The Social Democrats, the main party in the centre-left government coalition with the Greens, meanwhile sees its support grow from 27 percent in the latest Demoskop poll to 28.4 percent.

That is despite a recent government crisis sparked by a major data leak at the Swedish Transport Agency when key information was made available to IT workers in other countries who had not gone through the usual security clearance checks. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven was forced to let two government ministers go in response to the threat of an opposition-led no-confidence vote.

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Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

The crisis is not over yet as the opposition still threatens to call a vote of no confidence after the summer recess. However, the Demoskop poll was carried out after the peak of the crisis, which appears to indicate that the Social Democrats have so far survived the fallout unscathed in the eyes of voters.

The other smaller parties all show a slight increase, with the Centre Party now at 12.9 percent, the Greens at 4.4 percent, the Liberals at 6.4 percent and the Christian Democrats at 4.0 percent.

Pollsters quizzed 1,250 randomly selected voters about their party preference between August 1st and 8th. The Sweden Democrats' drop is the only change that is outside the margin of error.

Another survey by Novus on behalf of public broadcaster SVT, interviewing 2,000 people between July 31st and August 6th, still has the Sweden Democrats as the second-largest party with 18.7 percent support (down 1.3 percentage points), ahead of the Moderates at 15.2 percent (down 0.7 percentage points).

The Novus poll also suggests strengthened support for the Social Democrats at 29.3 percent (up 2.0 percentage points). All changes since their previous poll at the end of May are within the margin of error.

The Green Party is below 4 percent in both the Novus and the Demoskop poll, which means it would not get any seats in parliament if an election were held today.


Swedish political parties call for ban on conversion therapy

Multiple political parties in Sweden's parliament want to ban so-called conversion therapy, which aims to change young LGBT+ individuals’ sexual orientation.

Swedish political parties call for ban on conversion therapy

The Liberals have campaigned for a ban for some time, and a motion has now been submitted to parliament by the Social Democrats. Now, the Moderates and the Centre Party are joining them in calling for conversion therapy to be made illegal, Sweden’s public broadcaster Radio Ekot reports.

“The entire idea is that homosexuality is an illness which can and should be treated. That is, obviously, completely incorrect and a very out-of-place view in a modern society,” Centre’s spokesperson on legal issues, Johan Hedin, told the radio.

Conversion therapy consists of subjecting LGBT+ individuals to pressure or force to hide their sexuality or gender identity. According to MUCF, the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society, it occurs “to a not insignificant extent” in Sweden.

“We think there should be a ban. Sweden should be a tolerant country, where nonsense like this quite simply shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” Johan Forssell, the Moderate’s legal spokesperson told Radio Ekot.