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Swiss minnows deliver blow to right-wing

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Swiss minnows deliver blow to right-wing

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It is celebration time for the Liberal Greens in Switzerland – just one of the smaller parties to put up a strong showing in Federal elections at the expense of traditional politics.

The biggest surprise of the evening came from the right-wing Swiss People’s Party which failed to fulfil predictions it would break the 30 percent barrier.

It is still the largest party but its share of the vote and its number of seats in the 200-seat lower house are down.

The Socialist Party remains in second place.

The People’s Party’s vice-president, Christoph Blocher, gave his reaction: “We can’t always win, win and win up to the heavens, that’s clear. But our aim was 30 percent and we didn’t get that, that’s clear. There are always ups and downs.”

Christian Levrat of the Social Democrats remained positive although the party lost voter share.

“Our objective was to gain. If we gain a seat, then that’s okay,” he said.

The Radical Party’s Fulvio Pelli, who hung on to his seat by just 58 votes admitted: “Unfortunately, we lost seats, and we lost in terms of percentage, like the polls had predicted. But we are still the third biggest party.”

The new shape of parliament is likely to make the selection of the seven-member executive in December more complicated than usual.