”I think the combination of the perceived Russian threat, and the debate about the Armed Forces’ inability to carry out their tasks is what has lead to more Swedes to support a Swedish NATO-membership,” Ulf Bjereld, a political scientist at Gothenburg University, tells Swedish Radio News.
However, the number of Swedes opposed to a NATO-membership is still larger than those who support it. Still, these new numbers show a steady trend. According to the authors of the study, Ulf Bjereld and Karl Ydén, popular opinion on the matter has been quite static in the past, but last year a sudden change was observed when the amount of people supporting a NATO-membership almost doubled.
“Many people were surprised that popular opinion on NATO had reversed so drastically, and that opposition to NATO had decreased so fast. People may have thought that it was a strange poll, or a happenstance, but this year’s poll show that this was not the case. The Swedish NATO-opposition is decreasing, changing the landscape of the Swedish NATO debate,” says Bjereld.
This story is posted on BarentsObserver as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.