Swiss voters will go to the polls on Sunday in a parliamentary election dominated by immigration and asylum concerns that could eventually lead to a shakeup of the multi-party government. In the wake of a controversial 2014 referendum to clamp down on newcomers from the neighboring European Union and with the continent now facing its biggest refugee crisis since the end of World War II, voters are likely to reward parties to the “right,” according to a poll for Swiss broadcaster SRG. Migration concerns are set to even dwarf worries about the economy, which has narrowly skirted a recession brought on by the strong currency.
“What is top of the list of concerns, what is preoccupying people, are immigration, asylum, the refugee crisis that we have around Europe,” said Georg Lutz, professor of political science at the University of Lausanne. “People feel that acutely.”
All but one of 246 seats are up for grabs in the parliament, which is similar to the U.S. Congress, with one house representing the population and the other the 26 cantons. The election and possible ensuing rotation within the government aren’t likely to prove a game-changer, given the country’s penchant for predictability, according to Lutz.