Wildfires, Heat Wave Put Climate on Agenda in Swedish Election

(Bloomberg) -- Climate has again emerged as a major issue for voters in the Swedish election slated for next month after a summer of scorching heat, wildfires and drought.

A poll by Expressen/Demoskop showed climate was the second-most important issue with 16 percent of voters naming it as their top concern. Immigration remains the most important after a large inflow of refugees in recent years, with 23 percent saying it was their primary issue.

One of the hottest summers on record in Sweden has sparked wildfires and drought. The government has provided emergency aid for farmers and was also forced to call in help from fellow European Union members to fight forest fires across the country.

The outcome in Sweden’s election has become more difficult to predict as the two traditional blocs are increasingly challenged by the nationalist Sweden Democrat party. The anti-immigration group is now getting support of more than 20 percent in polls and may even become the biggest party in the election.

Growing concern over the environment could also give a boost to ruling coalition partner, the Green Party. It has been struggling in the polls, even falling below the 4 percent needed to get into parliament in some surveys.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.