Well, how about this for a surprise:
A final batch of polls to round off the week-end. On Sunday two polls addressing the relationship between Muslims and Western societies were released.Denmark: Relative OptimismThe Danish think tank “Mandag Morgen” released a poll which showed that 51% of Danes see no problems in combining Islam and democratic government.60% thought schools should put more effort into presenting and discussing non-Christian confessions to pupils and 75% said that the views presented by the imams who have been promiment during the cartoon crisis were not representative of the views held by Muslims living in Denmark.A short summary of the poll can be found on the homepage of Politiken.UK: PessimismMeanwhile, a poll presented by the conservative Sunday Times paited a bleaker picture of Muslim-European relations. 86% thought the protests against the Danish embassy were a gross overreaction and 80% that authorities show too much tolerance of Muslims who urge extreme acts. Asked whether a peaceful coexistence between Muslims and others in Britain was possible, 67% were negative and only 17% positive.It may be worth noting that the British poll was carried out in the week when extremist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri was sentenced to a long prison term for supporting terrorism.Unfortunately neither Politiken nor Sunday Times present any breakdown of poll data in their reports.
The lastest batch of opinion polls were released around the week-end.
Denmark: DPP up, Social Democrats down
A poll made by PLS Rambøll for Jyllands-Posten (yes, the paper that…you know…) and released on Sunday had support for the Danish People’s Party up from 14,2% in January to 17,8% in early February. According to the poll the Social Democrats were the big loosers with 21,6%, down from 25,1% in January.
The best review of Danish opinion polls is presented by Danmarks Radio. It may be worth noting that the changes recorded by Gallup in late January were less dramatic. I’m not an expert on opinion polls but according to a Danish colleague, the monthly Gallup poll is ususally the most reliable.
Sweden: Christian Democrats up, Greens down
In Sweden, a poll released by SKOP saw the centre-right opposition alliance in a narrow lead over the Social Democrats, Left Party and Greens. The Christian Democrats who have had a hard time in opinion polls since the last election and the retirement of the old party leader, Alf Svensson, were up from 4,6% to 6,6% while the Green party dropped from 6,9% to 4,6%. The crisis-plagued Left Party was nearly unchanged at 6,9%.
Perhaps more important, none of the new parties – the June List, Feminist Initiative and the Health Care Party – managed to mobilise any significant support.
My gut feeling with regard to Swedish opinion polls is that they often underestimate Social Democratic performance during electoral campaigns and they have more often than not missed important developments in electoral support during later years.
You should also note that Skop didn’t ask respondents “Which party would you be voting for if the elections were on Sunday?” but “Which party do you like the best in national politics?” (In Swedish: “Vilket parti tycker du bäst om i rikspolitiken?”).