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Poll sees slight yes to jobless benefit reform

If the national ballot on reforming state-run unemployment insurance were carried out now, the yes vote would prevail, says a Swiss Broadcasting Corporation poll.

But the issue is long from being decided as the survey found that more than a quarter of those who intend to vote on September 26 have not yet made up their minds.

The fourth reform of the unemployment insurance law would currently attract 49 per cent yes votes and 25 per cent no votes, according to the poll, which was published on Friday. Overall, 26 per cent were still undecided.

As uncertainty dominates, it not yet possible to forecast the outcome of the vote, say the experts at the gfs.berne research institute, which carried out the survey on behalf of the SBC, which is swissinfo’s parent company.

Experience has shown that those expressing a tendency often change sides, explained the gfs.berne experts. A turnaround cannot be totally excluded, given the outcome of the present poll, they added.

The poll did not reveal any differences between the language regions – all three appear in favour of the reform, with German-speaking Switzerland at the top. Opposition was highest in the French-speaking part of the country.

There were no surprises on the political front: those supporting right or centre-right parties were mostly in favour of the reform, while the left-leaning parties were against.

Both vote camps now have their work cut out. According to gfs.berne, they both have arguments that could convince undecided voters.

The survey was carried out among a representative sample of 1,204 people who are entitled to vote. It took place across the whole of Switzerland between August 9-14. Only the answers of those who said they would vote on September 26 were used – 34 per cent of those polled.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR