The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats have scored record support in another opinion poll, confirming previous results that suggest a surge in popularity.
The party, which backs much tougher controls on immigration and asylum seekers, has been rising in popularity as the traditionally liberal country is rocked by inter-ethnic fighting in cities such as Malmö.
The most recent poll by Novus for TV4 shows that nearly one in five Swedes now support the Sweden Democrats, with The Local reporting that its support is mainly coming from the north of the country as well as trade union members.
In contrast, both of Sweden’s traditional main parties are in decline as voters turn away from them.
The governing Social Democrats are still ahead, but their support is steadily eroding. Despite only taking power last year, the poll suggests only a quarter of Swedes would now vote for them, their lowest rating since 2012.
Meanwhile the centre-right Moderates are on 23.3 per cent support, down 1.7 per cent since June.
Last week, a shock YouGov poll put the Sweden Democrats ahead of all other parties with 25.2 per cent of those surveyed saying they would vote for the party. The poll was criticised, however, as it was based on interviews with participants partly selected through an application process that they themselves had signed up for.
However, the polls still confirm a trend of rising support for the party, which is already the third largest in the Swedish parliament after winning 12.9 per cent of the vote in last year’s election.
Its rise has shocked many of the left, who consider Sweden to be one of the most liberal countries in the world, especially in terms of immigration. After Germany, the country is taking the second-largest number of asylum seekers in the EU, but due its much smaller population it is shouldering the biggest burden.
The is increasing evidence that high immigration is contributing to a crime wave in the country, especially in the southern city of Malmö where stabbings and even grenade attacks are a regular occurrence as different migrant groups fight one another.
One migrant described the situation as like “being back in Syria“.