The populist Sweden Democrats look set to double their vote in the upcoming European Parliament elections as leader Jimmie Åkesson has rejected all calls for allowing returning Islamic State members back into the country.
The new poll, released by Sifo, shows the Sweden Democrats (SD) set to expand their support from 9.67 percent in the 2014 European Parliament elections to 18 percent in May, Europa Portalen reports.
While the Sweden Democrats’ support shows the most dramatic increase, the “centre-right” Moderates, the Social Democrats, and the conservative-leaning Christian Democrats all look set to see electoral gains as well.
The biggest losers in the poll are the Liberals, who go from nearly 10 percent down to 3.8 percent and risk losing all of their European Parliament seats. The Green Party also look likely to see losses, going from their 2014 result of 15.4 percent to 6.4 percent.
“In EU elections, there is much later voter decision than in other elections so much can happen until the election day in May. The important thing for the parties is to mobilise the voters who voted in the parliamentary election,” said the head of opinion polling at Sifo, Toivo Sjörén.
Sweden Election: Populists Win Their Biggest Ever Vote Share, Ruling Leftists Have Worst Result in 100 Years https://t.co/FWPk0S0Aix
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The vote is also expected to attract a record turnout in Sweden, with over 70 percent of Swedes saying they will participate in May.
Sweden has, like many other European countries, been grappling with the possibility of Islamic State fighters returning to their country following the defeat of the terror group.
SD leader Jimmie Åkesson weighed in on the debate saying, “If they choose to travel away to support the terrorist organisation Islamic State, in my opinion, they have used up all of their rights to call themselves Swedish. Then they should also not be a citizen.”
“Returned Islamic State sympathisers represent a major security risk for Sweden. We must see the seriousness of this,” he added.
Several other countries are currently tackling the same issue, including France, where the government estimates hundreds of French citizens who left to join the terror group could be repatriated.
Islamic State Women Say They Have No Regrets https://t.co/HLpxbGhUxC
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