Sverigedemokraternas partiledare Jimmie Akesson SD vid Sverigedemokraternas presskonferens med anledning av de migrationspolitiska samtalen. Stockholm Sverige x2512x PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xWIXTRÖMxJIMMY/Aftonbladetx SD PK

Two weeks before Sweden’s parliamentary elections, the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) have moved up to second place in a poll. The poll by the Swedish opinion research institute Sifo published on Friday sees party leader Jimmy Akesson’s party currently holding around 23 percent of the votes.

It has thus overtaken the conservative Moderate Collection Party, which around 18 percent of those eligible to vote want to vote for, and is only seven percentage points behind the governing Social Democrats of Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, who the Sifo survey sees at around 30 percent.

In the past few days, the opinion research institutes Novus and Ipso had predicted a close result in the September 11 election.

According to the pollsters, the issue of organized gang crime, which is currently dominating the election campaign, is playing into the hands of the right-wing extremist Sweden Democrats – ahead of the issues of immigration and integration. These had shaped the election campaign in the 2018 parliamentary election against the background of growing immigration from the civil war country Syria.

The center-left alliance led by the Social Democrats, which includes the Greens, Left Party and Center Party, could account for around 50 percent of the votes – about as many as the center-right alliance of moderates, liberals and Christian Democrats combined with the right-wing Sweden Democrats.

So far, all parties had ruled out an alliance with the right-wing extremists. This could change now. Since the Sweden Democrats, co-founded by neo-Nazis, entered the Swedish Reichstag in 2010, the right-wing extremists have increasingly made themselves heard in the public debate.

Sweden has been fighting growing gang crime for years. One person was recently killed in a shooting in a shopping center in Malmo, southern Sweden.

In the election campaign, the Social Democrats had recently sharpened their tone and, after years of liberalization, increasingly campaigned for a return to state control over public services such as health and education.

But the head of the conservative Moderate Party, Ulf Kristersson, wants to replace Magdalena Andersson as head of government. For the first time in Swedish political history, the conservative party is now ready to form an alliance with the extreme right. As late as 2018, left and middle-class camps agreed that they wanted to prevent Prime Minister Jimmie Akesson.