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Anti-foreign criminal drive popular, poll says

Many voters appear to have made up thier minds already about tightening the law


A controversial proposal to automatically expel criminal foreigners appears to have the backing of a majority, six weeks ahead of a nationwide ballot on the issue.

A survey by the leading gfs.bern polling institute, published on Friday, found 58 per cent of respondents saying they will vote or they consider voting for the initiative by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party.

Thirty-six per cent said they planned to reject it at the ballot box and only six per cent were still undecided.

An alternative proposal by parliament, which includes measures to integrate foreigners and is said to be in line with the constitution and international law, at the moment wins 41 per cent of the electorate.

“The initiative is backed not only by rightwing voters, but also by the grassroots of centre-right parties and even the centre-left,” said the head of the institute, Claude Longchamp.

The survey shows that the counter-proposal struggles to convince citizens amid calls for the business community to help fund the political campaign.

A poll by a rival institute found approval rates of more than 60 per cent for the initiative.

Meanwhile, a proposal by the centre-left to set nationwide minimum tax rates for the wealthy appears to be supported by 58 per cent of respondents ahead of the vote on November 28.

About 1,200 citizens across the different language regions were polled for the survey on behalf of swissinfo’s parent company, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.


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