The eurosceptic, anti-mass immigration Sweden Democrats have surged to first place in the polls, as theSwedish voting public apparently become increasingly concerned by the growth of ethnic ghettoisation, rising crime rates and Islamic radicalisation.
According to the latest YouGov poll to come out of the Scandinavian country, the party could expect to secure almost a quarter of the vote if elections were held tomorrow – almost double its level of support in 2014 – making it the single largest political force in the country.
Meanwhile, the Social Democratic Workers’ Party, which drives Sweden’s current minority coalition government, is down by nine points.
Other polls reported by the Express suggest a somewhat less dramatic but still significant rise in support for the populists, which would appear to suggest a trend. The country’s next elections will be held on September 9th 2018, unless a change in the political situation prompts a snap election.
YouGov poll — Sweden. Populists lead:
23.9% Sweden Democrats (=)
22.0% Social Democrats (-1.5)
15.4% Moderates (-1.6)
12.5% Centre (+0.7)
— Robert Kimbell #TimeForThePeople (@RedHotSquirrel) March 25, 2017
In February 2017, party leaders Jimmie Åkesson and Mattias Karlsson wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal defending U.S. president Donald Trump’s recent comments on the deterioration of social cohesion and public order in Sweden.
“Mr Trump did not exaggerate Sweden’s current problems”, they wrote. “If anything, he understated them.”
The pair highlighted the fact that “An estimated 300 Swedish citizens with immigrant backgrounds have travelled to the Middle East to fight for Islamic State” – despite Sweden having avoided any involvement in Western-led interventions in the Islamic world.
“Many are now returning to Sweden and are being welcomed back with open arms by our socialist government [and in] December 2010 we had our first suicide attack on Swedish soil, when an Islamic terrorist tried to blow up hundreds of civilians in central Stockholm while they were shopping for Christmas presents”, they continued.
“Riots and social unrest have become a part of everyday life. Police officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel are regularly attacked. Serious riots in 2013, involving many suburbs with large immigrant populations, lasted for almost a week. Gang violence is booming.”