Sweden Democrats surge in poll, Social Democrats still most popular

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STOCKHOLM, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Support for the anti-immigration nationalist Sweden Democrats has surged among voters since the last election, but the Social Democrats remain the most popular party, a poll published on Tuesday showed.

The Sweden Democrats, buoyed by growing discontent over immigration, crime and healthcare, gained 5.1 percentage points compared to the election result in September last year to reach 22.6% in a Statistics Office poll.

The Social Democrats, leaders of the minority, centre-left government, got 26.3% in the poll, a decrease of 2.0 percentage points compared to the election.

The Moderates was the third most popular party in the poll and got 18.3%, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points compared to the election.

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Other recent polls have put the Sweden Democrats neck-and-neck or even ahead of the Social Democrats, the party that has governed Sweden for much of the last 100 years.

The poll questioned 4,645 voters in November. (Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Simon Johnson)

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