Who would Swedes vote for if an election were held today?

How has the coronavirus crisis affected support for the various Swedish parties? A new political survey may help shed some light on the issue.

Who would Swedes vote for if an election were held today?
Would Swedish voters throw their support behind Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's party, or someone else? Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

The ruling Social Democrat party would receive 33.7 percent of the vote if an election were held today, according to Statistics Sweden's new survey – an increase of 8.7 percentage units compared to the previous survey in November and 5.4 percentage units more compared to the last election in September 2018.

The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats dropped 5.6 percentage units from the November survey and is now back at roughly its election result (17.1 percent in the May survey; 17.5 percent in the election).

Sweden's largest opposition party, the conservative Moderates, has also increased its support during the crisis, albeit not by as much as the centre-left government. A total of 20.1 percent told Statistics Sweden they would vote for the party today, 0.3 percentage points up on the election and 1.7 on the previous survey.

The Liberal party would meanwhile lose its seats in parliament if an election were held today, with only 3.3 percent of respondents telling Statistics Sweden they would throw their support behind the party.

Centre Party (C), Liberal Party (L), Moderate Party (M), Christian Democrat Party (KD), Social Democrat Party (S), Left Party (L), Green Party (MP), Sweden Democrat Party (SD). From Statistics Sweden's explanation: “* The change is statistically significant. ** The estimates for November 2019 were produced using the method introduced in May 2020, which is why they differ from previously published estimates for November 2019.” Source: Statistics Sweden

The survey was carried out between April 29th and May 27th, with a national random sample of 9,208 eligible voters, who were asked: “Which party would you vote for if a parliamentary election was held in the next few days?”

Excluding people who could not be reached or did not wish to take part, the results were based on 4,888 respondents in total.

Statistics Sweden's party preference survey is one of the biggest political opinion polls in Sweden, but other recent surveys suggest that an initial boost for the government in the early days of the corona crisis may be on the wane, as political friction reemerges in Sweden following a period of non-partisan collegiality.

According to pollsters Novus, 45 percent of just over 1,100 respondents told a survey in late May-early June that they trusted the government's ability to handle the pandemic, compared to 63 percent in April.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


What’s the Swedish Christian Democrats’ abortion contract all about?

Ebba Busch, leader of Sweden's Christian Democrats on Monday presented an "abortion contract", which she wants all of Sweden's party leaders to sign. What's going on?

What's the Swedish Christian Democrats' abortion contract all about?

What’s happened? 

Ebba Busch, leader of Sweden’s Christian Democrat party, called a press conference on Monday in which she presented a document that she called “an abortion contract”, which was essentially a pledge to safeguard the right of women in Sweden to have an abortion.  

“There is room for signatures from all eight party leaders,” she said. “I have already signed on behalf of the Christian Democrats.” 

What does the so-called “abortion contract” say? 

The document itself is fairly uncontroversial.

It states simply that Sweden’s law on abortion dates back to 1974, and that it grants women the right to an abortion up until the 18th week of pregnancy, with women seeking abortions later in their pregnancy required to get permission from the National Board of Health and Welfare. 

“Those of us who have signed this document support Sweden’s abortion legislation and promise to defend it if it comes under attack from forces both within our country and from outside,” the document reads.  

Why have the Christian Democrats produced it? 

The decision of the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade, and so allow US states to ban abortion has aroused strong feelings in Sweden, as elsewhere, and Busch is seeking to send a strong signal to distance her own Christian party from the US religious right. 

Abortion has been a recurring issue within the Christian Democrats with several politicians and party members critical of abortion. 

Lars Adaktusson, a Christian Democrat MP, was found by the Dagens Nyheter newspaper to have voted against abortion 22 times when he was a member of the European parliament. 

The party has also in the past campaigned for the right of midwives and other medical professionals who are ethically opposed to abortion not to have to take part in the procedure. 

So why aren’t all the other party leaders signing the document? 

Sweden’s governing Social Democrats, and their Green Party allies, dismissed the contract as a political gimmick designed to help the Christian Democrats distance themselves from elements of their own party critical of abortion. 

“It would perhaps be good if Ebba Busch did some homework within her own party to check that there’s 100 percent support for Sweden’s abortion legislation,” Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s prime minister, said. “That feels like a more important measure than writing contracts between party leaders and trying to solve it that way.”  

In a debate on Swedish television, Green Party leader Märta Stenevi argued that it would be much more significant if Busch’s own MPs and MEPs all signed the document. 

It wasn’t other party leaders who needed to show commitment to abortion legislation, but “her own MPs, MEPs, and not least her proposed government partners in the Sweden Democrats and even some within the Moderate Party”. 

She said it made her “very very worried” to see that the Christian Democrats needed such a contract. “That’s why I see all this more as a clear sign that we need to move forward with protecting the right to abortion in the constitution,” she said. 

How have the other right-wing parties reacted? 

The other right-wing parties have largely backed Busch, although it’s unclear if any other party leaders are willing to actually sign the document. 

Tobias Billström, the Moderates’ group parliamentary leader, retweeted a tweet from Johan Paccamonti, a Stockholm regional politician with the Moderate Party, which criticised the Social Democrats for not signing it, however. 

“It seems to be more important to blow up a pretend conflict than to sign the Christian Democrats’ contract or look at the issue of [including abortion rights in] the constitution, like the Moderates, Liberals and Centre Party want to,” Paccamonti wrote. 

The Liberal Party on Sunday proposed protecting abortion rights in the Swedish constitution, a proposal which has since been backed by the Moderate party and the Centre Party