In a recent poll, more than half of Swedes claim they will not vote in the upcoming elections for the European Parliament. The numbers were fairly equally divided, with 48 percent saying they would vote and 52 percent saying they would not; it shows that Swedes are not particularly interested in the makeup of the next EU parliament.
Swedish public broadcaster Sveriges Radio added that 64 percent of the respondents say they have little or no interest in the elections, which are scheduled for 7 June. The last EU parliament elections in 2004 saw a meagre 37.8 percent turnout from Swedish voters.
This is far below the figures for normal Swedish national elections, which tend to be around 80 percent. Henrik Oscarsson, an election researcher at Gothenburg University, told Sveriges Radio he thinks Swedes will remain indifferent throughout the run-up to the June vote.
“There’s not going to be any major increase if you look at these numbers, turnout is going to be around 40 percent but let’s hope it’s a little higher than that, Oscarsson said, adding that low voter turnout “hurts the European parliament’s political legitimacy.”
Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1995; it is therefore considered somewhat surprising by many that its citizens have such little interest in the politics of the governing body.