ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland looked set to shift to the right in its national elections on Sunday, as concerns about immigration and political correctness trumped fears about climate change and melting glaciers.
The right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), Switzerland’s biggest political party, will increase its share of the vote to 29%, 3.4 percentage points higher than the last election in 2019, according to early projections by Swiss broadcaster SRF.
The party campaigned on a platform of preventing the country’s population – currently at 8.7 million people – exceeding 10 million.
It has also picked up votes from people concerned about the slowing economy and the rising cost of living, pollsters GFS Bern said.
Rising health costs also looked set to benefit the left-wing Social Democrats (SP). Switzerland’s second biggest party was poised to increase its share by 0.4 percentage points of the vote to 17.2%.
In contrast, the Greens were expected to see their share of the votes fall by 4.1 percentage points to 9.1%.
The result is unlikely to change the make-up of Switzerland’s government, the Federal Council, where seven cabinet positions are divided among the top four parties, according to their share of the vote.
“Four years ago, people were a bit more idealistic and progressive, which explained why the Greens did well, but now people are more concerned about security and are more conservative again,” said Michael Hermann, a political analyst at pollsters Sotomo.
“The SVP has done well because it has raised fears about ‘wokeness’ and also focused on migration again,” said Hermann.
(Reporting by John Revill and Cecile Mantovani; editing by Barbara Lewis)