“It’s going to be a very unique type of Swedish election with a very unusual issue at the top of the agenda,” Henrik Ekengren Oscarsson, professor of political science at Gothenburg University, told newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).
The new report from the SOM Institute at Gothenburg University shows that crime has come top for the first time since regular election-year surveys began in 1979, DN reports.
“It’s an issue which we know from western European party systems is a very favourable environment for conservative parties and those on the right. They usually own that question,” Oscarsson said.
According to the report, 41 percent of those questioned said that law and order are the most important issues in society, as well as the most important political issues.
“This issue has risen like a rocket and increased from election to election.” Patrik Öhberg, political scientist at the SOM Institute, told Swedish public service radio Ekot.
“This is the first election campaign in modern times where it’s so high up on the agenda that all parties, whether they want to or not, have to discuss the issue,” he said.
According to Öhberg, this will chiefly benefit the conservative Moderates, but also the right-wing Christian Democrats and populist Sweden Democrats. On the other side of the political spectrum, it could be detrimental to the Left Party and the Greens.
The survey, which was sent out to 25,000 randomly-chosen individuals between 16-85 years old, included the question “which issue or issues or societal problem do you think is the most important in Sweden today?”.
Crime came first, followed by healthcare and integration. In fourth and fifth place were the environment and education, respectively.