13% of Swedes Could Consider Voting Pirate in EU Elections

13% of Swedes Could Consider Voting Pirate in EU Elections

In a new poll about attitudes towards the Swedish Pirate Party, 13 % could consider voting for the party during the EU elections next year. In the same poll, 9 out of 10 Swedes report being against mass surveillance.

With 13% of votes the results are almost double the percentage of votes the Swedish Pirates received in the 2009 elections, in which they entered the European Parliament with two seats. According to the poll, younger voters are much more likely to vote Pirate than older. In the poll 25% of interviewees 18-29 years old were considering voting for the Pirate Party.

“These are amazing numbers that of course make me very happy”, said party leader Anna Troberg in a press release, “but what really counts is what happens election day.”

The party is currently entering the process of deciding their list of candidates for the Spring elections, and the election committee recently released their suggested list. The candidates then have a chance to present themselves for the members during an EU convention scheduled for October 12th.

The poll, conducted by Novus in mid-September, includes answers from Swedes aged 18-79 on four questions concerning mass surveillance and the Pirate Party. On the question on whether private communication should be free from surveillance, 87 % responded a clear yes. The numbers were even higher in the older population, reaching 93 % in those aged 50-64.

“The numbers speak a clear language”, said Troberg. “87 % think, just like the Pirate Party, that it is entirely wrong to monitor people’s communication with no suspicion of crime. It’s a number that’s not at all mirrored in the way Swedish politicians today vote in these topics in the European Parliament and the riksdag.”

Freedom from surveillance has been a massive debate in Sweden, largely fueled by the FRA law of 2008 that allows mass surveillance of all telecommunications passing the country borders. A majority of the Swedish population was against the law when it first passed, and it seems the number has increased since. The debate has lately returned due to the recent NSA scandals, and Barack Obama’s recent visit to Sweden saw large protests.

Featured image is in the public domain by Anton Nordenfur.