Banking on concerns of immigration and rising unemployment, far-rightists are gaining popularity in Sweden, amid expectations of becoming the third party in the country’s coming election.
"Immigration is topping the agenda and this benefits the Sweden Democrats," Carl Melin, polling head at United Minds, told Reuters Monday, November 12.
Opinion polls have shown that the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) is growing in popularity in the Scandinavian country. A survey by United Minds pollsters in Aftonbladet newspaper published on Monday showed that SD has about 11 percent support, double its showing in the 2010 election.
Other polls in the last few weeks showed a similar trend. An October poll by Ipsos, published in Dagens Nyheter newspaper showed the SD at 8.5 percent. "We may be entering a recession and this is a good breeding ground for parties like the Sweden Democrats," said Johanna Laurin Gulled, a polling manager at Ipsos.
The SD is notorious for anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant campaigns. Immediately after their electoral win in 2010, the SD started working on imposing a moratorium on building new mosques in the Scandinavian country. The party, whose manifesto describes Muslims as "seriously jeopardizing the Swedish nation", has also sought a ban on the face-veil and halting immigration from predominantly Muslim countries.
It opposes a panel recommendation that all major religions should be given equal time in lesson plans, saying Christianity should maintain a special status.
Update: See "Sweden Democrats in crisis over racist film", The Local, 14 November 2012
Update 2: See "Sweden Democrats 'may fall apart': experts", The Local, 15 November 2012