Latest Poll – Pirate Party Could Win a Seat in EU Election

Early voting has already taken place in Europe and a new poll is out. The Pirate Party now has 7.9% support of the Swedish voting population. While well behind leading incumbent parties, it’s still enough to actually win at least one seat in the European Parliament. All this after election problems and the ongoing “spectrial” of The Pirate Bay.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

They stand for privacy and reforming copyright laws – and now, they also stand to win a seat in the European parliament as well. The Local is currently reporting on the latest poll figures and the news is very good for the Pirate Party:

The Pirate Party now has the support of 7.9 percent of Swedish voters, up from 3.4 percent from a week earlier, according to the Demoskop poll conducted between May 13 and Wednesday.

That is still well behind Sweden’s opposition Social Democrats with 35.9 percent and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s conservative Moderate Party with 24.1 percent.

But it could be enough for it to clinch at least one seat in the European Parliament

Of course, this momentum didn’t come without some difficulty. Just a few days ago, the party reported on their blog that they were excluded from one of the debates on major broadcaster SVT:

SVT is a party leader debate today before the European elections. Pirate Party leader Rick Falk Vinge, however, is not invited, only representatives of the seven parliamentary parties. This despite the fact that Piratpartiet has poll figures that are in class with a number of parliamentary parties, and markedly more than the Christian Democrats.

It is very strange that they choose to exclude a party is challenging in this way, “says Rick Falk Vinge, party for Piratpartiet. We have 5.5% in Sifo and 5.6% in Novus Opinion, and has had numbers in that class since the measurements before the European elections began. We are expected to take seats in the European elections. It can not be grounds to exclude us because we are too small. So why have SVT Agenda chosen to exclude us from the debate?

Party leaders debate broadcast tonight, Sunday at 20 of SVT2, and is repeated four times in connection with that early voting opens.

Shortly afterwards, on the day of the early voting, people were commenting (Google translation) how critical ballot information was missing needed to vote for the Pirate Party.

“Have now voted piracy, but not without difficulty. The ballots were missing when I got to my next förtidsröstning local (library in Aspudden) so I had to take a walk to the library of the Telefonplan and where fans are plenty of counterfeit ballots. But the danger is over,” one user wrote (Google translation), “I checked if there were ballots outsourced on the way back and there were. I was there a few minutes after opening so I guess they got in place shortly after that I am good to the next library.”

Many have pointed to the trial of The Pirate Bay as one major reason for the surge in popularity of the Pirate Party where lawyers for the major copyright industry have demanded additional fines on top of the 30 milion kronor fine already handed down to the admins. On top of the additional fines, the lawyers representing members of the copyright industry also demanded a gag order. More recently, the Swedish justice system seems to keep offering judges that have connections with organizations that advocate restricting copyright to decide whether or not the judge that handed the guilty verdict was biased due to connections with organizations that advocate restricting copyright laws.

Some of the anger as a result of The Pirate Bay “spectrial” comes out of the fact that major US corporations have intervened in the daily affairs of Sweden. With the United States already signalling that it would pass a law that would make pressuring other countries that don’t abide by what the copyright industry sees as good copyright laws, among other things, part of the US foreign policy. Indeed, Sweden was in the US governments cross-hairs for quite some time over The Pirate Bay website and when a guilty verdict was handed down to the admins of The Pirate Bay, it didn’t take long for the USTR to applaud the development as “significant positive progress”.

Another reason for the support can be attributed to leaked government documents that suggested how the Swedish government is planning on forcing ISPs to retain all data of it’s users for 6 months. The idea floating around is to plug a loophole that allowed Swedish ISPs to protect user information by destroying their logs so when the government demanded information regarding a file-sharing related case, there would be nothing to hand over. The government stressed that the law is still being developed and hasn’t even been tabled for consideration, but it was certainly enough to anger members of the Pirate Party (Google translation).

Still, the Pirate Party hasn’t officially won a seat, but the surge in popularity suggests that this could very easily be the day where the Pirate Party finally wins seats. The final vote is on June 7th and poll stations were surprised to see a surge in popularity of the EU elections recently because the election had already been dubbed as “the forgotten election”. As we already noted, this is gearing up to be a very interesting election.

Further Reading:

STUDY: Sweden’s Pirate Party to Win 2 Seats in EU Parliament

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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