A poll has shown a surge in support for the anti-mass migration Sweden Democrats which are now tied with the ruling Social Democrat party ahead of this year’s national election.
The poll, conducted by polling firm YouGov and released this week, puts the populist anti-mass migration party at 23 per cent, tied with the Social Democrats for first place, Metro reports.
The surge in support comes after a leaders’ debate in which the Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson dominated on the subjects of law and order as well as mass migration, winning the debate overall.
Sören Holmberg, professor of political science at the University of Gothenburg, commented that despite the Social Democrats’ attempts to put out a tougher migration policy ahead of the election, the Sweden Democrats (SD) were still remaining strong with voters concerned with migration.
Sweden Democrats Promise to Reduce Asylum Numbers to Zero and End Chain Migration https://t.co/0ztLvh4usZ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 18, 2018
“It seems to be hard to win back voters from the SD,” Holmberg said.
Immigration has become the most important issue for Swedish voters according to a survey conducted earlier in the year and as a result, many parties have tried to emulate the tougher policies of the SD.
Despite this, Holmberg said the populist SD “are perceived as the party that has a matter of ownership on the refugee issue. The more immigration discussed, the more positive it will be for the Swedish Democrats.”
Holmberg added that the lack of popularity of current Prime Minister Stefan Lovfen, leader of the Social Democrats, may also harm the party’s support at the polls. “It’s not good for a government. The Prime Minister may not need to be number one, but he needs to be in the top half,” he said.
This poll comes after another revealed that the SD was the most popular party with young voters aged 18 to 34, echoing trends across Europe in which young voters increasingly support anti-establishment parties on both the right and the left.