The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats have gained ground in a recent poll, pulling almost even with the ruling Social Democrats, ahead of an election in September. Similar parties have won recent elections in Slovenia and Italy.
The poll, conducted for Sweden’s Expressen newspaper and published Monday, has put the Sweden Democrats in second place, with 21 percent of the vote, the highest score in the party’s history. The liberal Social Democrats, currently in a coalition government with the Green Party, are still in first place but polling at 23.1 percent.
The surge in popularity for Sweden Democrats is attributed to voters leaving Social Democrats for other left-wing parties, but also to the country’s open-door migration policy, which has been accompanied by a crime wave.
Latest poll in Sweden has the national populist Sweden Democrats in 2nd on 21%
Sweden was never supposed to have a successful populist party pic.twitter.com/nZipGCcNbT
— Matthew Goodwin (@GoodwinMJ) June 12, 2018
Gang-related gun murders –overwhelmingly carried out by men with migrant backgrounds– have surged from around four per-year in the early 1990s to 40 last year. Rapes and anti-Semitic attacks by Muslim immigrants have also surged. Grenade attacks were up 550 percent last year from three years prior.
Just last week, Rakmat Akilov, an asylum seeker from Uzbekistan, was given a life sentence for a truck attack last year. Akilov plowed a truck down a busy shopping street in Stockholm last April, killing five people and injuring almost a dozen others. Among the dead was an 11-year-old girl. He said he acted on behalf of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
“I often use Sweden as a deterring example,” Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Swedish television in January, warning about the dangers of unchecked immigration.'
Read more: Anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party surges in polls amid EU’s Eurosceptic wave