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The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats are now the no1 force in Sweden, polls show

20 August 2015

9:26 PM

20 August 2015

9:26 PM

On the Swedish election before last, there was shock that the populist Sweden Democrats ended up with a foothold in parliament. Even more shock when they did well enough in last year’s election to topple the conservative-led government. Sweden’s parliament works on coalitions, but no party wants to do any kind of deal with Sweden Democrats. They’re regarded as toxic, beyond-the-pale. But now, according to a shock YouGov poll today, they’re the no1 party in Sweden. At first it was argued: let these lunatics come to parliament! They’re nuts, let everyone see how mad they are! In fact, they’ve been coming pretty well-prepared to debates in the Swedish Parliament – even the ones that are not televised. Their stature has grown and the often shrill attacks against them are becoming counterproductive. So now, YouGov puts party’s support at 25pc ahead of 23pc for the governing Social Democrats and 21pc for the dethroned conservatives. It could be a rogue poll: one by Swedish Radio News in June put the Sweden Democrats at 16pc. But it fits a trend across Scandinavia of populist insurgency amidst an abject failure to control immigration. I’ve just returned from three weeks in Sweden, and saw this for myself. Stories of immigrant-related crime pepper the newspapers: last week, a mother and her son were stabbed to death in Ikea in Västerås; the two suspects are Eritrean asylum seekers who (according to media reports) had just been refused right to remain. These stories are rare, but still shocking – and add to a national sense of alarm. (Sweden has even started to export this problem to Britain.)


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