The right-wing, anti-EU Swiss People’s Party is well placed to usher in a new era of politics in the country after making big gains in yesterday’s general election. In line with pre-election predictions it claimed around 29 per cent of the vote, strengthening its position as the main power in parliament.
The SVP campaign centred on populist leader Christoph Blocher and a controversial initiative to expel foreigners who commit serious crimes. The party says the result is the best showing for a political party in Switzerland since 1919. It has
vowed to push ahead with an agenda that includes scrapping any remaining plans for Switzerland to join the EU.
But it was the immigration issue that dominated the debate. An SVP poster showing white sheep kicking out a black sheep was blasted as racist by opponents. The party says it merely wants to stop foreign criminals entering the country.
The SVP previously said it will not radically alter the country’s consensus system of government. But its party chief, Ueili Maurer, has hinted it would be willing to talk to other parties about possible changes.