Posted on December 1, 2015

Sweden Anti-Immigration Party Surges in Poll Amid Refugee Crisis

Niklas Magnusson, Bloomberg Business, December 1, 2015

Swedes are responding to their government’s historic intake of refugees by turning to an anti-immigration group that both the ruling coalition and opposition deem too xenophobic to work with.

The government of Prime Minister Stefan Loefven is losing support as the Sweden Democrats–a party that wants to significantly reduce the intake of immigrants–surged to its highest level on record in a Statistics Sweden poll published on Tuesday.

The Social Democrat-led government, its Green Party coalition partner and their Left Party ally would get 39 percent of votes if an election were held today, according to the poll, which was compiled last month. In June, the bloc enjoyed the backing of 42.8 percent of voters. Tuesday’s poll showed the Sweden Democrats at 19.9 percent support, compared with 14.4 percent in June.

It’s the latest sign of the major change in sentiment sweeping across Scandinavia’s biggest economy as the Sweden Democrats–a party with neo-Nazi roots–forces itself into the mainstream of Swedish politics. It became the country’s third-biggest party in last year’s election and managed to block the government’s first budget, forcing it to form a pact with the core opposition parties in an effort to prevent the Sweden Democrats from disrupting lawmaking.


{snip} As many as 190,000 asylum seekers are expected to arrive in Sweden this year alone, a development that is overwhelming authorities in a country of 10 million where housing shortages are already an issue.