In the three major Swedish cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, Fredrik Reinfeldt’s Moderates claimed 36.2 percent of voter support to the Social Democrats 26.8 percent in a new March poll from Synovate published in Dagens Nyheter (DN).
The Moderates have increased their support in the three big cities by 10.7 percentage points since January while the Social Democrats have dropped 13.8 points.
The Social Democrats have lost the support of over 250,000 voters nationwide since January, DN writes.
Support for the Social Democrats nationwide has declined for the second consecutive month and has dropped to 42.5 percent. The fall from 46.8 percent in January is statistically significant.
The Moderates now enjoy the support of 24.5 percent of voters nationwide, the highest figure since August 2007.
“It is primarily among women in the big cities that the Social Democrats are losing support,” according to Synovate analyst Niklas Källebring.
The Social Democrats fell despite the survey being undertaken in the midst of a wave of publicity to celebrate the anniversary of Mona Sahlin’s ascendancy to the party leadership.
Källebring is unable to explain the dramatic changes in the big cities and explains that that the mobilization of passive Moderate voters is only part of the explanation.
Changes in the remainder of the country were very small. Rural support for the Social Democrats remains stable at 52.2 percent while the Moderates enjoy the backing of only 16.7 percent.
Other parties registered small changes. The Green Party claimed 6.2 percent, down from 6.4 in February; the Left Party increased to 6.1 percent in comparison to 5.1 percent in February.
The Liberal Party claimed 6.8 percent, down from 7.8 percent in February, the Centre Party dropped from 6.8 percent to 6.3 percent and the Christian Democrats have the support of 4 percent of voters.
The governing Alliance parties are supported by 41.6 percent of voters while the opposition polled 54.8 percent.
Synovate/DN poll interviewed 1,961 people during the period March 13th-26th.