Sometimes I’ll see a headline suggesting that people are coming to their senses and the Swedish Democrats poll numbers are starting to sink. Some polls allege their numbers are dropping to 16 or 17%. Such numbers are striking, because other polls paint a very different picture.
Wiki is great for aggregating poll numbers and makes it easy to cut through the bullshit. There are about 7 polling companies that regularly poll Swedish voting intentions.
Of these, two polling companies regularly show the Swedish Democrats doing much better than the other polls. Sentio has shown the Swedish Democrats since June of last year hovering between 22% and 26%. YouGov shows them since June of last year hovering between 22% and 28%.
Further Sentio put them in May at 23.7%, which was within 1% - for all intents and purposes, and well within the margin of error - of being the largest party in Sweden.
YouGov put them in May at 22.9% and listed them as the largest party in Sweden despite scoring a slightly lower percentage then they did on the poll from Sentio.
What of the polling firms – Demoskop, Inizio, Ipsos, Novus, SCB, Sifo, and SKOP? They have this last year argued that the Swedish Democrats have hovered between 15 and 18% in the same time frame. SCB put them at 17.3% at the end of May prompting headlines that the Swedish Democrats were losing support.
Do we believe the ones who say the Swedish Democrats are on the way out, or the ones who say the Swedish Democrats regularly poll as the largest political party in Sweden? Since the general election was less than two years ago, the answer might lie with the polling companies that best forecast the meteoric rise of the Swedish Democrats.
Wiki list the polls leading up to the Sep 14, 2014 general election. Isn’t the internet great sometimes?
The first thing to notice is that they all underestimated the political strength of the Swedish Democrats, especially in the exit polls on election day. And if you have spent much time there, you know that for all the wonderful qualities of the Swedish people, a great many are slaves to political correctness and conformity. It isn’t surprising that they would downplay voting for the SD.
The second thing to notice is that while they all underestimated support for the Swedish Democrats in the period leading up to the election, Sentio (12.7%) and YouGov (11.1%) came the closest in their last polls.
In contrast, SKOP was off by almost 40%. Sifo, Demoscop, Novus - all off by more than 20%.
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. And even they underestimated SD's strength before the 2014 elections.
So how are the Swedish Democrats doing?
Based on the polls with a history of accuracy, the Swedish Democrats are quite possibly the largest party in Sweden, and may have been so for more than a year.
The next Swedish general election will be held in Sweden on 9 September 2018 to elect the members of the national law-making assembly, the Riksdag (Riksdagen). If Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark offer any indication of how the pro-Swedish, anti-mass migration Swedish Democrats might do, then you can be cautiously optimistic that things will be getting better in Sweden.