Poll jolt for Swiss anti-immigration People's Party

Two SVP campaign posters, Burgdorf, 21 October, 2011 The Swiss People's Party has called for an end to mass immigration

Related Stories

Switzerland's right-wing People's Party has seen its share of the vote fall at parliamentary elections, defying forecasts of a historic result.

It had campaigned on a tough anti-immigration platform, and had predicted it would receive an unprecedented 30% of the vote on Sunday.

But with the count nearly complete, it was set to get less than 27%.

Its calls to limit immigration strictly are now likely to be quietly ignored, a BBC correspondent says.

The party lost votes, in part, to a more moderate breakaway party, the Conservative Democrats, and a new Green Party also did well.

Both these parties focussed on issues which have worried voters this year, like the strong Swiss franc and its effect on the economy, or future energy policy now that Switzerland has decided to phase out nuclear power, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes reports from Geneva.

The People's Party had been buoyed by recent successes in campaigns to ban minarets, and to automatically deport foreign criminals.

But voters gave the party something of a slap in the face - fewer votes and the loss of seven parliamentary seats, our correspondent notes.

The party's single campaign theme - restricting immigration - did not seem to find favour.

Switzerland's foreign population may be almost 25% but its unemployment rate is less than 3%.

Voters know many Swiss businesses, and their health service, depend on foreign workers, our correspondent says.

While the People's Party remains the largest party, its chances of negotiating more power in Switzerland's coalition government are now greatly reduced, our correspondent adds.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories



  • Shinji Mikamo as a boy, and Hiroshima bomb cloudLove and the bomb

    The Japanese man who lost everything but found peace

  • Northern League supporters at the party's annual meeting in 2011Padania?

    Eight places in Europe that also want independence

  • scottie dogShow-stealers

    How Scottie dogs became a symbol of Scotland

  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet

  • The outermost coffin of Tutankhamun 'Tut-mania'

    How discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb changed popular culture

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.