Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Anti-Immigrant SVP Soars in Swiss Vote on Foreigner Anxiety

  • 245 seats in two houses of parliament to be allotted
  • Migration, refugees were voters' primary concern, polls showed
Swiss People's Party SVP President Toni Brunner smiles at the house of Parliament.

Swiss People's Party SVP President Toni Brunner smiles at the house of Parliament.

Photographer: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images
Updated on

The Swiss People’s Party won its best result ever in Sunday’s election, capitalizing on voters’ unease about an influx of foreigners just as Europe faces its biggest refugee crisis in decades.

The anti-immigrant, fiscally conservative SVP won 65 seats in Switzerland’s lower house, up from 54 in 2011, according to the Federal Statistic’s Office, which show the party got 29.4 percent of the vote. That’s ahead of the Social Democrats, who fell to 43 seats, and the pro-business Free Democrats, or FDP, which advance to 33 seats. A poll for Swiss broadcaster SRG forecast such a shift, with the SVP coming in first. The SVP’s previous best showing in the 200-member lower house was in 2007, when it won 62 seats on 28.9 percent of the vote.