Anti-immigration card is not working, after all. Even though Switzerland’s anti-immigrant Swiss People’s Party turned out to be the largest political force, the rightwing group has apparently failed to live up to its pledge of increasing its share of votes in parliamentary polls.
An analysis of the exit polls is enough to reveal that the support for the SVP has registered a dip by a little more than 2 points to 26.8 per cent.
Apparently, in the run up to the election one of voters’ main concerns was financial worries.
Green Liberal Party has, meanwhile, emerged as the champ from the election for 200 seats in the lower house of the Swiss parliament. The party has increased its share by more than 4 per cent. “If exit polls result prove accurate, things look great for us,” said Martin Bäumle, its president.
With this, it is clear that the party’s hopes of bagging a record 30 per cent votes now stand the danger of being dashed to the ground. A 30 per cent votes share could have supported the party’s case for a greater representation in government.
The party’s latest plan is to seek a referendum on harshly restricting immigration — a move censured by the critics, who believe such a thing could breach agreements with the EU on the free movement of labour. They apprehend it would also put at risk the country’s trade links with Europe.
The ultra-conservative party is led by billionaire eurosceptic Chrstoph Blocher. The party came under the scanner of the international media in 2007 when its anti-immigrant poll campaign was condemned as racist by the.
The development assumes significance in light of the fact that the foreigners constitute around 25 per cent of the Swiss population and are predominantly involved in carrying out unskilled jobs.
It is now an open secret that the economy, having less than 3 per cent unemployment, depends largely on immigrant workers.
But, with the voters complaining that the country was becoming overcrowded, SVP had come out with placards issuing warning on mass immigration,.
The placards, with black legs and feet apparently marching into Switzerland and claiming “Now it’s enough” were, in fact displayed across the country in the run-up to the election.
The placards came a year after the SVP launched a campaign banning the construction of new minarets at mosques in the country.
The party also won backing for laws allowing the automatic expulsion of foreigners convicted of certain offences, in a referendum earlier this year.