The populist Sweden Democrats have come first in a new opinion poll as the ruling Social Democrats struggle to deal with ongoing violent gang crime and a wave of explosions across the country.
The poll, carried out by Demoskop, is the first in which the Sweden Democrats have won a poll conducted by the polling firm, reaching 24 per cent of the vote, or nearly one in four Swedish voters, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports.
Jimmie Åkesson, leader of the Sweden Democrats, said the poll result did not shock him, noting, “We have seen a trend throughout the autumn as we approached the Social Democrats.”
“I’ve long argued that we would become the biggest party sooner or later. Throughout the years we have consistently talked about gang crime, escalating insecurity, migration policy that has not worked and integration policy that has made the situation worse,” he added.
The Sweden Democrats have called for an end to mass migration for years, and also proposed to use the military to help police gain more control over crime-plagued no-go zones where gang violence is a major problem.
Populist Sweden Democrats Leader Vows to ‘Declare War’ on Rising Levels of Organised Crime
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 18, 2018
“More and more people are experiencing these problems in their everyday lives and can relate to them. Then we become a credible alternative,” Åkesson said.
The populist party also received a boost in credibility this week when it was joined by the centre-right Moderates and Christian Democrats (KD) in putting forth a motion of confidence on Justice Minister Morgan Johansson in the Swedish parliament.
Johansson survived the confidence vote on Friday, largely thanks to support from the Centre Party and the Liberals.
“It is mainly Jimmie Åkesson who wins this. By being the one who raises a declaration of mistrust, he emerges as an opposition leader and he creates this conservative bloc that he usually talks about,” commented reporter Elisabeth Marmorstein of Swedish broadcaster SVT.
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