Switzerland’s anti-immigrant People’s Party is in line to achieve one of its strongest showings ever in national elections, according to projections by the NZZ newspaper.
(Bloomberg) — Switzerland’s anti-immigrant People’s Party is in line to achieve one of its strongest showings ever in national elections, according to projections by the NZZ newspaper.
The SVP — as the party is known by its German acronym — is set to win 29.4% of votes, up from 25.6% four years ago. That’s an even stronger win than expected in opinion polls and would match its 2015 record. Official results will be published later on Sunday.
The party has been Switzerland’s most popular for two decades. With domestic issues dominating the campaign, the SVP benefited from voters’ attention on immigration. That focus was harnessed into the party’s push to limit the country’s population to 10 million people, citing overstretched infrastructure and lack of housing.
The projections also match pre-election polls in suggesting that the Social Democrats would come in a distant second, with the pro-business Free Democrats and the Center Alliance trailing. Switzerland’s two Green parties are set to reverse gains made four years ago.
Irrespective of the results, a shift in Switzerland’s executive is unlikely as the 7-member government isn’t formed by a coalition or outright majority but is a compact between the largest parties. Ministers will be elected by lawmakers on Dec. 13.
Right-wing parties have seen a swell across Europe recently, with Germany’s AfD receiving a boost from voters in regional ballots and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni still riding high in polls after a year in office. In neighboring Austria, the anti-immigrant Freedom Party is the front-runner for 2024 elections.
How many seats parties get might not fully reflect their percentage gains and losses, as the number of lawmakers is also determined by the distribution of votes across Switzerland’s 26 cantons.
A first projection of parliament seats is expected for 6 p.m. local time. Early estimates by public broadcaster SRF suggest that the SVP might win as many as six additional seats in the 200-member lower house of parliament, with the two Green parties losing eight.
(Updates with latest results starting in first paragrph)
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