The national elections in Switzerland on Sunday may result in a shift to the right, as worries about immigration outweigh concerns about climate change and melting glaciers. However, the outcome is not expected to alter the composition of the Swiss government.
According to the final projection by Swiss broadcaster SRF, the SVP, the largest political party in Switzerland, saw a rise in their vote percentage to 29%, which is 3.4 percentage points higher than their previous election in 2019.
The party’s platform focused on preventing the country’s population from reaching 10 million, which is currently at 8.7 million people.
SVP leader Marco Chiesa stated that they are facing issues with immigration, illegal immigrants, and the security of their energy supply. He also mentioned the existing chaos surrounding asylum and the need to address the topic of a 10 million population in Switzerland.
The expected outcome indicates that the SVP will gain eight more seats, bringing their total to 61 out of the 200 seats in the lower house of parliament. This will increase their representation in the chamber, where no single party holds a majority.
The Social Democrats (SP), the second-largest party in Switzerland, were expected to see a 0.7% increase in their share of the vote and gain one additional seat, thanks to the rising costs of healthcare.
On the other hand, it was predicted that the Greens would experience a decrease of 4 percentage points in their vote share, amounting to 9%, and also lose six seats.
According to Cloe Jans, a pollster from GFS Bern, this outcome will make it tougher for progressive causes and issues related to the environment and sustainability. As a result, politicians may not feel as much external pressure to prioritize these matters during the next four years.
The result is not expected to alter the composition of Switzerland’s Federal Council, which is made up of seven cabinet positions allocated among the top four parties based on their percentage of the votes.
According to Michael Hermann, a political analyst from Sotomo pollsters, the progressive mindset from four years ago has vanished. Due to the past four years of various crises, such as the coronavirus pandemic and conflicts in Ukraine, people have become more conservative compared to their attitudes in 2019.
However, he believed that the election would not significantly affect Swiss politics. This is because important matters such as pensions are still decided through referendums. – Reuters