Swedish voters are now less likely to oust the government of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Sept. 14 than they were just a week ago. The Social Democrat-led opposition’s lead has narrowed to 4.5 points in the latest poll by Sifo — the smallest difference since May last year — from 7.3 points a week earlier and 9.8 a month earlier. The shift toward the government follows presentations by the main parties revealing their policy goals for the next four years. “We’re talking about 135,000 voters for things to become completely even, and that’s of course not a huge number,” said Toivo Sjoeren, head of opinion research at TNS Sifo in Stockholm, by phone. He says history indicates that even after narrowing, the margin remains too wide for Reinfeldt to be re-elected. “On the other hand, you actually never know.”
The poll is one of only three to include voter responses to the election manifestos unveiled last week by the government and Social Democrats. The two other parties that make up the opposition bloc have yet to reveal their plans, a development Reinfeldt has used to sow doubts in the minds of voters.
“A lot of people have indicated that they’re still uncertain, and in that sense it’s an open race,” Reinfeldt told reporters on Sept. 6. “I’m completely convinced that we can still change people” and “I will fight to do that all the way until the polling booths close.”
A poll by Demoskop for newspaper Expressen conducted after a debate on broadcaster SVT yesterday showed voters gave Reinfeldt a grade of 3.67 versus 3.37 for Loefven.