WASHINGTON, June 16, 2016 — According to the Norwegian polling firm Sentio, the Swedish Democrats are polling at 24.5 percent with the Swedish electorate and are the largest political party in Sweden.
While that fact went almost unmentioned in the main stream media, the big news is that the party that opposes mass migration in liberal Sweden is not only No. 1, but has been for almost a year.
Since June 2015, Sentio has put the Swedish Democrats within the margin of error, if not clearly in the lead for first place, among Swedish political parties. During that period the SD has consistently polled between 22.1 and 26.8 percent.
The pollsters at YouGov have also put the Swedish Democrats within the margin of error for first place, or, clearly in the lead for first place, for the last 12 months. In this period, polling support for the SD has been between 20.1 and 28.8 percent.
No one wants to admit that the party that wants to bring an end to mass migration to Sweden can be so popular. The Swedish media and political and business establishments push the narrative of a fringe party that they can sideline. The last government formed as a type of grand coalition with no other objective than to keep populist parties out, as happened in Germany and Austria.
In contrast, the populist right in Norway (Fremskrittspartiet), Finland (Finns) and Denmark (Dansk Folkpartiet) are currently all in government. It is only in Sweden that the establishment continues to push a left wing, multicultural narrative. This has its costs, among them the fact that violent crime has increased in Sweden by 300 percent and rapes by 1,472 percent. Virtually unknown before in Swedish criminal history, the number of gang rapes has increased spectacularly since 1995.
What of the 70+ percent who don’t support the Swedish Democrats; do they support mass migration? There is a range of opinions, but in Sweden, political consensus and the image of the liberal Swede are very important to people. Just five years ago, discussing the Swedish Democrats in polite society wasn’t an option; now it is impossible not to discuss them. And the nature of European parliamentary politics mean that governing parties frequently never see their share of the vote climb above 25 percent.
What of the other polling firms: Demoskop, Inizio, Ipsos, Novus, SCB, Sifo and SKOP? They have argued this last year that the Swedish Democrats have hovered between 15 and 18 percent support.
Let’s consider how accurate their polling was before the Sept. 14, 2014, general election. The Swedish Democrats received 12.9 percent of the vote. All of the polling agencies underestimated the political strength of the Swedish Democrats, especially in the exit polls on election day.
While they all underestimated support for the Swedish Democrats in the period leading up to the election, Sentio (12.7 percent) and YouGov (11.1 percent) came the closest in their final polls, within the margin of polling error. In contrast, SKOP was off by almost 40 percent. Sifo, Demoscop and Novus were all off by more than 20 percent. These errors all greatly exceeded the standard plus-or-minus 2.5 to 5 percent, 95-percent confidence bounds of a good poll, suggesting systematic bias.
Past performance is a great indicator of future performance, and among Swedish polling companies, YouGov and Sentio are the only companies that seem to have (or want to have) a sense of how popular the Swedish Democrats really are.
As in the U.S. with Trump, we can imagine the establishment must be losing more than a little sleep.