Swiss voters have been taking to the polls to end what has been described as the country’s most aggressive parliamentary election campaign.
The right-wing People’s Party (SVP) is set to strengthen its position as Switzerland’s biggest party after focussing on worries about immigration
and threats to the country’s enviable standard of living.
Analysts believe the SVP’s campaigns upholding Switzerland’s independence from the European Union and support for a tough stance on asylum have been effective.
But the party’s billionaire leader, Christoph Blocher, has severely strained ties within the ruling Federal Council.
His party’s campaign poster featuring white sheep kicking out a black sheep has been blamed for sparking a riot.
Critics say Blocher’s opposition to foreigners runs counter to Switzerland’s humanitarian tradition.
The original poster was widely attacked as xenophobic or racist, but the party rejects those accusations, saying it is only aimed at expelling criminal foreigners.
Their closest rivals, the Social Democrats, have countered with their own poster showing three sheep kicking Blocher out of the country.
But that is not expected to be enough to help them turnaround their fortunes.