Support for Swedish opposition was growing before election called: poll

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 05, 2014 3:53 AM

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Support for Sweden's main center-right opposition and for the unaligned Sweden Democrats was growing before the government called a snap election, according to a poll released on Friday.

The poll was conducted before the center-left government on Wednesday decided to call Sweden's first snap election in more than 50 years - to be held in March - after its first budget failed to pass in parliament.

The center-right Alliance opposition block is now neck-and neck with the governing Social Democrats and Greens and their support party, the Left, with both backed by 41.7 percent of voters, according to the poll.

In September's general election, support for the blocs was 39.4 percent and 43.6 percent respectively.

Support for the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats had risen to 13.5 percent from 12.9 percent in September, according to the poll, which was carried out by Demoskop for the newspaper Expressen.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of the Social Democrats has called on the mainstream parties to cooperate to exclude the Sweden Democrats after the snap election if no bloc wins a majority.

Separately on Friday, a poll by Ipsos commissioned by the daily Dagens Nyheter indicated that a mere 2 percent of voters believe a Social Democrat-Green coalition to be the best current government option for Sweden.

Meanwhile, as many as four out of 10 respondents saw a coalition across the blocs as the best option. The alternative was supported by center-left bloc voters as well as center-right bloc voters, the Ipsos poll showed.

Nineteen percent of voters said they believed an Alliance government would be the best alternative for Sweden.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Toby Chopra)