The last poll before Switzerland’s federal election on 22 October 2023 shows a drift right compared to Switzerland’s federal election in 2019.
The poll run by Sotomo on behalf of Switzerland’s state broadcaster between 22 September and 5 October 2023, shows clear winners and losers. Parties on the rise include the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) (+2.5 percentage points), the Socialist Party (+1.5) and the Centre Party (+0.5). The right of centre Swiss People’s Party is Switzerland’s largest, with support of 28.1% in the latest poll. In second place is the Socialist Party, with support of 18.3%.
The big losers so far are those focused on the environment. The Green Party has lost 3.5 percentage points, leaving it with the support 9.7% of those polled. The Liberal Green Party, a party that combines liberal economics with environmental objectives, has also fallen from favour, losing 1 percentage point of support, leaving it with a 6.8% share.
The PLR/FDP, historically Switzerland’s main party has also slipped in popularity from 15.1% support to 14.1% support since the 2019 election.
Overall, on the right there has been rise in popularity for the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) (+2.5 percentage points) and a loss on the left for the Green Party (-3.5) that has not been offset by the rise in popularity of the Socialist Party (+1.5).
In part the Green’s loss has been a gain for the Socialists. The biggest current issue is rising health insurance premiums – 51% of voters are concerned about this. The second most frequent concern is climate change (36%). But rising health insurance hits voters in the pocket. Some of those on the left who might typically vote Green are now more focused on their personal finances and hope the Socialist Party will be better positioned to help.
The third most widespread concern is immigration (35%). This worry favours the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP), a party highly focused on controlling the flow of migrants into Switzerland.
Polling company Sotomo notes increasing social polarisation. Nearly three quarters of those who vote Green have a strongly negative attitude towards people who vote for the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP). The same negative sentiment flows the other way. The Green Party stands for a lot of things that the conservative base finds bad: wokeness, gender and so on, said Michael Hermann, a political scientist working at Sotomo. And voters from other parties have even more negative feelings towards the UDC/SVP. 42% of those surveyed are concerned by this confrontational trend and the loss of a culture of debate and compromise in the country.
SRF article (in German)