According to opinion polls, the Swiss populist right, anti-immigration and anti-EU are expected to win Sunday’s legislative elections amid rising fears of a European migrant crisis and the risks of attacks in Europe.
Polling stations are only open for two or three hours in the morning, as most Swiss people vote by post. The first forecast of results in percentages is expected at 4:00 pm (2:00 pm GMT). The small Alpine nation of about 8.8 million people renews its 200 National Council (lower house) representatives by proportional vote and its 46 senators in the Council of States (upper house) by majority vote.
The composition of the upper house – under the control of the liberal right and center – does not differ in elections. In the lower house, the hard-right party UDC (Centre Democratic Union), according to polls, should consolidate its place as the leading political force to the detriment of the liberal-radicals (PLR), while the Greens should give up ground. For Socialists (PS).
The elections come after two recent Islamist attacks in Europe, first in Arras, France, and then in Brussels.
According to Sean Müller, a professor at the Institute of Political Studies at the University of Lausanne, these events should not have a major impact on the election because many Swiss have already voted or know very well who to vote for. “I don’t think many people who are undecided or don’t want to vote because of these attacks will vote for UDC or PLR because as a neutral country, we still consider ourselves safe from terrorism.“, he told AFP.
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