(BBG – click to see) Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II has plunged support for Sweden’s Social Democrat-led bloc to its lowest level in more than two decades.
The governing coalition of Social Democrats and Greens has the joint backing of just 30 percent of the electorate, down from 34.3 percent in November, according to a poll published by Dagens Nyheter and Ipsos ahead of a parliamentary vote on border identification controls Thursday. Together with the Left Party, which supports the minority government in parliament, backing for the ruling bloc has fallen to 37.3 percent, the lowest level since 1991. Ipsos estimates its loss in support since the September 2014 election at 500,000 votes.
The government is having to rely on the backing of the Sweden Democrats, an anti-immigration party in opposition, to push through parliament identification controls on buses, trains and ferries to Sweden.
Sweden has struggled to cope with a massive influx of asylum seekers in recent months. The number of asylum seekers to the Nordic country of 9.8 million people is expected to climb to as much as 170,000 this year, according to the country’s migration agency.
The record numbers have forced the government to tighten itsgenerous asylum policy, provoking tension within the ruling parties.
The nationalist Sweden Democrats are now polling at 18.9 percent, the highest level noted in an Ipsos poll, compared with 17.2 percent in November.