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Polls gauge support for top politicians and parties

The campaign for next October's parliamentary elections is still to get off the ground. But thousands of spectators watched a pre-Christmas light show on the Swiss parliament building in Bern

The rightwing Swiss People’s Party appears to be losing support among citizens, according to the latest opinion poll ahead of next October’s parliamentary elections.

A survey commissioned by two Sunday newspapers, SonntagsZeitung and Le Matin Dimanche, found the People’s Party taking 23.8% of the vote, down from 26.6% in the previous elections in 2011.

The other main political groups of the political left and the centre-right – the Social Democrats, the Radicals and the Christian Democrats – were narrowing the gap slightly but trailing behind with 19.8% and 15.7%, respectively 12.4%.

Three smaller centrist parties range between 7.2% and 8.2%, according to the opinion poll by the Léger Switzerland institute among just over 1,000 respondents. The margin of error was not indicated.

Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter and Interior Minister Alain Berset came top with 87% and 78% respectively in a list of key politicians in the poll, which was carried out in the German- and French-speaking parts of the country at the beginning of the month.

People’s Party strongman Christoph Blocher had the backing of 20% of respondents.

In September the leading GfS Bern research and polling institute published a first poll with largely similar results for the main parties.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR