- Title: Environmentalist Greens set for gains as Swiss elect parliament
- Date: 20th October 2019
- Summary: BERN, SWITZERLAND (FILE - SEPTEMBER 19, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF NATIONAL COUNCIL CHAMBER IN SWISS FEDERAL PALACE EXTERIOR OF SWISS FEDERAL PALACE BUILDING
- Embargoed: 3rd November 2019 10:36
- Keywords: Swiss elections Switzerland greens environment Swiss greens elections voting
- Location: BERN AND MELS, SWITZERLAND
- City: BERN AND MELS, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA006B1WI69Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Swiss voters' concerns about climate change look set to give the environmentalist Greens strong gains in a parliamentary election on Sunday (October 20) that could dilute the centre-right's grip on power.
A solid showing by the Greens could vault them and their allies into the mix for a seat in the grand coalition that has governed the conservative nation for decades. Changing just one member of the seven-seat cabinet would be a political sensation.
A Sotomo poll this month for broadcaster SRF predicted the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP), which won record seats in 2015 amid Europe's refugee crisis, would dip 2.1 points to 27.3% while the Green Party's share would rise more than 3 points to 10.7% of the vote.
The smaller, more centrist Green Liberal Party (GLP) is expected to advance, bringing their combined strength to a theoretical 18% which would place them collectively third behind the SVP and the centre-left Socialists (SP), ahead of the centre-right Liberals (FDP), who all have two of the seats on the Federal Council that is Switzerland's government.
Cabinet seats have been divvied up among the SVP, SP, FDP and Christian People's Party (CVP) in nearly the same way since 1959.
The Greens' success could hit all major parties, including the SVP, whose President Albert Roesti has called climate change a "eco-socialist scam against the middle class."
Green parties do not have a monopoly on ecological issues and many voters in the rural SVP heartland are loyal.
Polls closed at midday (1000 GMT), with initial projections, including from the many postal votes, due soon thereafter.
(Production: Marina Depetris, Cecile Mantovani, Louisa Naks)
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