In the lead-up to the Swiss federal elections, the populist rightwing Swiss People’s party (SVP) is poised to achieve significant electoral advances, with a campaign that has revolved around pressing issues such as the cost of living and immigration.
Switzerland’s preeminent political party is anticipated to amass 28.1% of the vote in the forthcoming Sunday elections, marking a notable increase of 2.5 percentage points from its previous electoral standing, as indicated by polling conducted by the esteemed Sotomo research institute.
Christian Imark, a distinguished member of the Swiss National Council representing the SVP, exudes confidence in the party’s capacity to augment its share of the vote, largely attributed to its unwavering focus on immigration policies, energy security, and the dynamics of energy costs. Mr. Imark attests to a discernible shift in campaign dynamics compared to the electoral contest of 2019, citing increased public engagement, culminating in a heightened demand for dialogue and interaction.
Foremost among the concerns voiced throughout the campaign is the mounting cost of living, with particular emphasis placed on the spiraling costs of health insurance. Fabian Molina, a prominent figure from the Social Democratic party, underscores that for middle-class households, the burgeoning health insurance expenses have emerged as the principal fiscal dilemma within their daily budgets.
The electoral landscape, as per polling data, also predicts commendable gains for the Social Democratic party, with an estimated 18.3% of the vote. Simultaneously, the Centre party (Mitte) is poised at 14.3%, while the Liberals are projected to garner 14.1%. In contrast, the Greens face an anticipated electoral setback, polling at 9.7%, which signifies a substantial decline of 3.5 percentage points.
In the prior Swiss election, green parties enjoyed resounding success, thanks to the prominence of climate-related issues in the voters’ collective consciousness. However, the current electoral climate presents a competitive environment characterized by a multifaceted array of issues. While the cost of living has assumed central importance, Green party politicians maintain their unwavering commitment to addressing pressing climate concerns.
Line Rennwald, a senior researcher affiliated with the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences, envisions the forthcoming election as heralding a return to more conventional patterns of voter preferences. She postulates that the composition of the government’s leadership is unlikely to witness substantial alteration as a direct consequence of the electoral outcome. Nevertheless, it is expected that shifts will manifest in relation to specific policy issues, as rightwing parties are anticipated to garner additional parliamentary seats, thereby exerting influence on select policy areas.