Switzerland’s national elections over the weekend resulted in a major victory for the Swiss People’s Party, which ran on a hard-line anti-immigration platform as concerns about a growing population have increased in the European country.
Late Sunday’s final tally showed the party, known as SVP, gaining nine seats, bringing it to a 62-seat total in the parliament’s 200-member lower house where no party has an overall majority. At the same time, environmentally minded factions that campaigned heavily on climate change were the biggest losers as the Greens dropped five seats, bringing their total to 23, and the Liberal-Greens lost six seats and dropped to 10 overall.
SVP, which rebounded from a disappointing result in 2019, campaigned on a platform of preventing the country’s population — currently at 8.7 million people — exceeding 10 million.
“We have problems with immigration, illegal immigrants, and problems with the security of energy supply,” said SVP leader Marco Chiesa. “We already have asylum chaos… A population of 10 million people in Switzerland is a topic we really have to solve.”
SVP, which also campaigned vocally against “woke culture,” has promised to promote policies with “less political correctness.”
“I believe the people have given the politicians a clear mandate,” Chiesa told the newspaper 24 Heures. “Acknowledge reality, and come up with solutions… These elections were about what’s happening in people’s daily lives.”
The outcome is unlikely to change the makeup of Switzerland’s government, the Federal Council, where seven cabinet positions are divided among the top four parties, according to their share of the vote.
Still, Hermann did not think the election would have a major impact on Swiss politics, with big issues like pensions still settled via referendums.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.