The right-wing Swiss People’s Party increased its standing as the biggest bloc in the parliament, claiming close to 29 percent of the vote after a controversial election campaign.
The SVP’s victory was widely expected after the party focussed its efforts on populist leader, Christoph Blocher, and an initiative to expel the “black sheep” in Swiss society or foreigners who commit serious crimes. Its election platform was attacked by opponents and emotions boiled over into rare scenes of violence at an SVP rally in Berne.
The party increased its share of the vote by 2.1 percent, or three times more than expected, it is the best showing for a political party in Switzerland since 1919. The SVP says it will not make any radical changes to the in the country’s coalition government or the Federal Council, a seven seat executive made up of ministers from the four biggest parties.
Party president Ueli Maurer said : “Globally I’m very happy. We’ve got our best ever electoral result in this system, we’ve equalled the Liberals result in nineteen ninety with twenty eight point eight percent. We have twice the poltical weight of the two centre parties, and we are a third more powerful again than the Social Democrats. I think this emphasises we are ready to govern Switzerland. “ The SVP’s closest rivals, the Social Democrats, lost some four percentage points. Analysts believe the Social Democrats lost out to the Greens who polled some 9.5 percent of the popular vote.