Polls, polls, more polls...
Margins between leading political parties and blocks in Sweden are thin, and conflicting polls show their unreliability.
Polls, polls, more polls.
There are so many different polls coming out literally each and every day in Sweden, and they follow one another with conflicting political predictions concerning the September general election.
In less than a week, separate telephone polls ranging from 2,000 - 9,000 randomly selected people showed one or the other block ahead with Swedish voters, although the percentage points and margins of error made it clear that the race for four years of power in Stockholm was currently far too close to call.
Ahead by a nose in the Sifo poll released Sunday, Fredrik Reinfeldt's conservative coalition block appeared to have gained 2% since the poll released only three days previously - on Thursday and from the Swedish Bureau of Statistics (SCB) - claimed a meager two-tenths of one percent majority for Mona Sahlin's red, green and pink Socialist-Milieu-Leftist (formerly communist) block.
That particular poll overshadowed the previous one from just the day before - Wednesday, June 9 - when a Novus Opinion survey showed the Moderates to be the largest party in Sweden. In principle, this canvassing of voters was in agreement with a Demoskop poll from the previous week (ending June 6). While it showed the coalition of middle of the road, center, conservatives and right wingers to be ahead, neither party had a "50% plus one" majority and the difference between the blocks was a mere six-tenths of a percentage point (47% right, 46.4% left).
One clear trend in all the polls was that the two big parties - the Socialists and the Moderates - were sapping strength from their block compadres so much that some of the hangers-on might not qualify for any seats in Sweden's Parliament. The system is only slightly more perplexing to understand than the Electoral College in the United States, but a national total of 4% of the Swedish electorate's votes is required to place a single person into the unicameral assembly, Parliament...and automatically qualify for political funding, placement on future ballots and other valuable party politics perks.
A chilling wakeup call to the majority of Sweden's voters, the tiny difference between the major blocks raised the hazard of a swing vote party out of the next-in-line which could make incredible demands for their own priorities or stall the political gearbox indefinitely. In this election, the tiny but powerful party would be the Swedish Democratic Party - which is admittedly ultra-right, anti-integration and, until recent years, openly included the membership of the still functioning and visible Swedish Nazi Party.
Among other independent parties is the Pirate Party, which is a news making gathering of people who are opposed to heavy attempts to legislate and collect motion picture and record industry fees from Internet users. It was ahead of the much older Republican Party, which has been present in Swedish elections for many decades and is a single issue group that wants to eliminate the monarchy, the King and all vestiges of royalty.