The mood on migration in Sweden appears to have shifted dramatically this year, with a majority of people now saying they want the Nordic nation to take in fewer asylum seekers.
The most recent survey, conducted in autumn and winter, found that 52 per cent of respondents said Sweden should slow the migrant flow, with only 26 per cent opposed to the idea.
By contrast, Swedes asked the same question in 2015 were almost evenly split on the issue — 40 per cent said they felt the country should be receiving fewer asylum seekers, whilst 37 per cent wanted to see the influx continue.
Supporters of the Sweden Democrats were the most keen to see migrant flows slowed, with 96 per cent of respondents who back the anti-mass immigration party saying the country should cut numbers.
The mood amongst Moderate party voters towards Sweden’s generous migration policies appears to have undergone a massive change. Whilst just 42 per cent wanted to see fewer asylum seekers in 2015, that number soared to 64 per cent amongst respondents to the latest survey.
Social Democrat supporters also seem to have grown cynical of importing and granting residence to huge numbers of people from the Middle East and Africa, with 42 per cent of the governing party’s backers now wanting to see migrant numbers cut, compared to 29 per cent in 2015.
Enthusiasm for mass migration remains strong on the far left of the political spectrum, however, with just 13 per cent of those who vote for the Green party and the Left party advocating the country take in fewer asylum seekers.
Political science professor Henrik Ekengren Oscarsson said the debate around migration “has taken on an increasingly important role in people’s party preference”.
The professor suggested Sweden’s growing weariness towards open borders policies has been driven in part by the government’s adoption of a more restrictive approach to mass migration.
“The fact it’s now official government policy to slow refugee intake, with broad support in parliament, means it shouldn’t be surprising that the public follows suit,” he told Svenska Dagbladet.