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The Swedish Green Party struggles to get support from rural areas

Monday, 02 July 2012
The Swedish Green Party is not popular outside major cities and what ever popularity remain, is falling pretty fast.
The party has in the first half of this year reached its lowest level in rural areas and midsize cities after the 2010 election, according to a new survey in which the Swedish business daily commissioned from polling organisation Ipsos. The persistent fall has been blamed on the party’s party leadership's ambitions which is not working well

“If their strategy was to increase voter support in rural areas, they have not managed to do it,” says Johanna Laurin Gulled, public opinion analyst at Ipsos to the Swedish daily Dagens Nyehter

Since Asa Romson and Gustav Fridolin took control of the party last year, the Green party has strengthened its position in the city to 13 percent - even though the total support for the party declined to an average of 9.7 percent in the first half of this year compared with six months earlier, according to survey analysis.

In medium-sized cities and in rural areas, it is however worse. The cities outside Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö dropped support for the first half of this year to 7.1 percent, its lowest level after the 2010 election.
In sparsely populated areas the situation is even more. The support is down to 5.8 percent, down 2.5 percentage points compared to the second half of last year. This means that the Green party has lost almost a third of rural voters in the spring. The change is statistically significant.

In the 2010 election there was a clear correlation between population density and percentage of the Green party’s voters. In the 500 most populous electoral districts in the country the Green Party received 12 percent of the vote. This compares with 7.3 percent for the country, according to a summary analysis from the Election Authority. The Top Ten List of Green Party's strongholds is almost exclusively electoral districts in big cities.
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