Head of Sweden's main opposition party quits after poll drop

AP News
Posted: Aug 25, 2017 7:30 AM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The head of Sweden's main opposition party has resigned after falling support in opinion polls.

Anna Kinberg Batra, head of liberal Moderates, stepped down Friday, almost a year before Sweden's next general election, planned for Sept. 9.

Critics say her shift to the right in January when she initiated contacts with the populist, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats led to the drop. She stopped short of offering the euroskeptic party, considered a pariah by Sweden's mainstream parties, a place in any future government.

Support for the Moderates dropped to 15.2 percent, according to a recent poll, from 23.3 percent in the 2014 election.

Kinberg Batra took over from Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden's prime minister from 2006-2014. A replacement for the 47-year-old Kinberg Batra will be elected at a party congress in October.