chapter  7
Sweden
From deviant case to populist radical right hotbed?
ByAnders Widfeldt
Pages 23

The main aim of this chapter has been to analyse the extent to which the behaviour of the mainstream can explain the growth of the populist radical right (PRR). The chapter deals with the demand side, in particular levels of immigration and public opinion, but also the saliency of immigration and the extent to which it can be said to have been 'owned' by a particular party. It addresses internal supply-side factors, namely the presence of PRR parties in Sweden, with a particular emphasis on the Sweden Democrats (SD). The chapter talks about external supply-side factors and evaluates the relative significance of demand-side, external supply-side and internal supply-side factors in understanding the rise of the SD over the last decade. The Swedish public cannot be described simply as hostile to immigration. Rather, public opinion has become increasingly polarised. It can be argued, therefore, that the growth in support for the SD is an expression of this polarisation.