What do TV viewing habits reveal about political preferences in Sweden?

What do TV viewing habits reveal about political preferences in Sweden?
File photo: AndreyBezuglov/Depositphotos
Is there a link between political preferences and TV viewing habits? A new survey looked at the favourite TV programmes of Swedes based on their voting habits, and the results could be revealing.

Voters of the centre-right Moderates are particularly keen on House of Cards and legal drama Suits, according to the survey by the Novus consultancy group. Perhaps it's not surprising that fans of the country's main opposition party had a taste for a political thriller, since their own party is also in crisis with ousted leaders and turncoat MPs.

Moderates voters were also bigger fans of Wahlgren's world, a reality show following the everyday life of Swedish singer Pernilla Wahlgren, than supporters of other parties.

When it came to the country's largest and oldest party, Social Democrat supporters were most likely to tune into Veckans Brott, a weekly programme which looks at current and historical crime cases in Sweden, or Vår tid är nu (Our time is now), a postwar drama which has been called Sweden’s answer to Downton Abbey. 

They were the least likely group to watch reality show Paradise Hotel in which single people stay in a luxury hotel and must form couples.

READ ALSO: Swedish postwar drama pulls in record viewing figures

By contrast, Centre Party voters favoured Paradise Hotel along with Swedish reality show Bonde söker fru (Farmer wants a wife), a dating show featuring Swedish farmers. Could their interest in farmers' love lives have anything to do with the fact that the Centre Party was first founded in 1913 as the Farmers' League?

Among supporters of the right-wing Sweden Democrats, one in four watch Lyxfällan, a programme in which people facing economic difficulties are given financial help and coaching from experts. Though the party falls well on the right of the political spectrum regarding immigration issues, it is far closer to the left in terms of policies defending the Swedish welfare state.

But they were much less likely than supporters of other parties to tune in for Modern Family, Vår tid är nu, Game of Thrones, or Norwegian youth series Skam.

“Doesn't this say absolutely everything about Swedish politics?” security expert Oscar Jonsson tweeted. 

“Green and red are statistically above and below the general population,” he helpfully added. 

For the survey, Novus questioned a random, representative sample of Swedes aged between 18 and 79. Though the report only looked at the link between party preference and TV shows, many other factors such as age, gender, and income can influence or explain viewing habits.