April 18. 2024. 10:46

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EU elections crucial for Swedish Centre Party’s leadership

The European elections this June will be critical for the leadership of Sweden’s opposition Centre Party, which faces extremely low numbers in the polls and lacks familiar faces on its EU election list.

In the run-up to the EU elections, the opposition party Centre (Renew Europe) is experiencing growing internal tensions, as the party’s results in opinion polls have steadily worsened since the last parliamentary elections in 2022.

Within the party, the EU elections are now seen as crucial for the party’s future leadership.

“If things don’t go well this summer, there will be discussions about resignation,” said a source cited by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet on Monday.

The Centre Party’s slide in the polls has been ongoing since the 2022 election, when the party scored a low 6%, and has worsened since the resignation of now-former party leader Annie Lööf in 2023.

After just over a year under Muharrem Demirok’s leadership, the party is polling at just 3.3%, according to the Demoskop March 2024 poll—a trend that Swedish political commentators attribute largely to Demirok’s leadership, which is seen as insufficient to revive the party.

Another major problem ahead of the EU elections is that the party’s top name in the election campaign, MEP Emma Wiesner, is largely unknown to voters.

A March survey by SR/Indikator Opinion showed that seven out of 10 Swedish voters did not know her, and only 7% said they trusted the Centre Party MEP, adding to the party’s already low level of trust.

The party is polling better in the European elections than at national level, with a combined Europe Elects poll in March giving the Centre Party 7% ofvoter support, which would mean the party is likely to lose one of its two MEPs.

If this happens, there will likely be a change of leadership in the summer. (Charles Szumski | Euractiv.com)

Read more with Euractiv

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