Swiss voters go to the polls on Sunday with the anti-immigrant People’s Party set to cement its position as the nation’s strongest political force.
(Bloomberg) — Swiss voters go to the polls on Sunday with the anti-immigrant People’s Party set to cement its position as the nation’s strongest political force.
The SVP — as the group is known by its German acronym — is expected to win more than 28% of the vote, which would put it some 10 percentage points ahead of the second-placed Social Democrats. The probable gains match recent advances of other right-wing parties across Europe.
The shift is set to result in the SVP’s third best showing on record — it has been the No. 1 party for two decades — and would reverse some of the losses it experienced at the last election four years ago.
The boost could bolster the SVP’s agenda, which includes attempts to limit Switzerland’s population to 10 million people and to enshrine “everlasting” neutrality in its constitution. Yet it wouldn’t change who governs the country, thanks to a political system where the executive isn’t formed by a coalition or outright majority but is a compact between the largest parties.
As many Swiss cast their ballots by mail and some cities also offered Saturday voting, polling stations will close at noon on Sunday. Switzerland’s 26 cantons will then count and report ballots independently throughout the afternoon. The first national projections are expected around 4 p.m. local time.
Projections on parties’ seat count in the new parliament will likely take until the evening.
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