Sweden Democrats climb in new poll

The Sweden Democrats are Sweden's fourth largest political party, according to a new poll, while the opposition parties maintained their lead over the Alliance government.

Sweden Democrats climb in new poll

The Social Democrats, Green Party and Left parties together polled 48.6 percent to the Alliance parties’ 42.2 percent in the Sifo poll, published in the Svenska Dagbladet daily on Sunday.

The Sweden Democrats meanwhile came in at a record 7.7 percent, up 0.5 percentage points on the previous poll.

The Green Party are behind the opposition bloc’s climb, up 1.1 points on the previous month’s poll. The Social Democrats meanwhile declined 1.2 points.

The Moderates climbed marginally by 0.1 points to 28.8 percent.

The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) was down 1 point, the Centre Party down 0.4 points and the Christian Democrats dropped further below the 4 percent threshold for parliamentary seats.

Göran Hägglund’s Christian Democrats polled 3.4 percentage points, down 0.4 points on the previous poll.

At about the halfway point in the Swedish parliamentary term, it remains unclear however whether the Red-Greens are ready and able to form a coalition in time for the election in 2014.

The Sweden Democrats have enjoyed fairly stable support since the 2012 election and the latest poll indicated that the party will retain its balance of power status in the Swedish parliament after 2014.

The party on Friday announced a “clean out” of its rank and file with party leader Jimmie Åkesson declaring that he was eager to curb the stream of racist and homophobic comments made by party members since the 2010 election.

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Here’s what Germans think about Joe Biden becoming US President

Germans have previously said that outgoing US President Donald Trump is their greatest source of angst. So what exactly do they think about Joe Biden's win and his plans?

Here's what Germans think about Joe Biden becoming US President
US President-elect Joe Biden when he was US Vice President, and Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2013. Photo: DPA

There's an overwhelmingly positive view from the Bundesrepublik: nine out of ten Germans (89 percent) think it is “very good” or “good” that Biden won the recent US election.

In fact, only seven percent of those surveyed in the ARD Deutschlandtrend representative poll rate the election result as “not so good” or “bad”.

And a massive 80 percent of respondents to the representative survey believe that German-American relations will improve with Biden when he takes over as US President early next year.

It's a huge contrast to how Germans felt after the election of Donald Trump in 2016: at that time, 57 percent expected German-American relations to deteriorate.

A recent poll showed the worry is still strong. Trump took the top spot this year as the greatest source of German fear for the second time since 2018 in the survey conducted by insurance firm R+V. A total of 53 percent said they believe his policies make the world a more dangerous place.

READ ALSO: Germans 'more worried about Trump than coronavirus'


What do Germans think about Biden's proposals?

Biden's initial plan for the period after he comes office is also supported among Germans, according to the ARD survey.

These include the USA returning to the World Health Organisation and re-entering into the Paris Climate Agreement – something that 9 out of 10 Germans support.

Respondents also expect improvements for the domestic situation in the US: 90 percent support Biden's desire to develop an action plan as quickly as possible to control the coronavirus pandemic in the states.

READ ALSO: 'The world may respect us more': How Americans in Germany reacted to US elections

Unclear if Biden can make changes

A total of 85 percent of Germans believe that the USA will develop positively overall under Biden.

However, they also see possible limits to his actions: whether Biden can actually initiate major reforms also depends on what the majority balance in Congress will be like in the future. And whether the Democrats will be in the minority in the Senate or whether they will take control.

That will be decided in the January runoff election in the state of Georgia. There, two seats for the Senate are still at stake. If the Democrats are able to win them, they could be able to take control of the Senate.

But that is not yet the case – and currently 71 percent of Germans think that Biden will not achieve many of his goals because he is dependent on cooperation with the Republicans.

On another important issue – the reconciliation of the nation – Germans are cautiously optimistic: 56 percent trust Biden to overcome the divisions in US society.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week congratulated Biden on his election win. She said Germany would stand with the US to tackle global problems.