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Swiss People's Party polling as a high as 33%.


From SwissInfo…

The political right is aiming to capitalise on Swiss voters’ main concerns – immigration and integration – in October’s federal elections.

Experts believe that a mixture of anti-immigration rhetoric and well-organised campaigning could see the voter share of the Swiss People’s Party, the rightwing’s sole representative in the five-party cabinet, rise above 30 per cent for the first time.

“We want Switzerland in the future to remain an independent country with a high degree of self-determination by the people,” said Ulrich Schlüer, a driving force behind the party’s successful initiative in 2009 to ban the construction of minarets.

Schlüer was speaking after Swiss voters backed another People’s Party initiative to automatically deport criminal foreigners.

“Neutrality is important, but on the other hand we want to show the whole world that Switzerland is a safe country, that we do not tolerate illegal activities in our country. I think this message has a very good chance to be successful in the elections.”

This vision of Switzerland as a conservative oasis of national sovereignty amid a sea of European red tape – tightening up immigration laws is in; joining the European Union is emphatically out – continues to appeal to more and more people (see box).