Great royal occasions nearly always result in various opinion polls and the recent royal wedding in Sweden was no exception.
Some are naturally more interesting than other, among them the opinion poll made by SIFO Research International for SVT (external link), which showed that 32 % think King Carl Gustaf should abdicate when he reaches the age of retirement next year, while 50 % think he should remain on the throne (18 % are in doubt or have no opinion).
In February last year the same poll (external link) made by the same institute but back then for Aftonbladet showed almost exactly the same result: 32 % said the King should retire, 45 % were opposed to the idea, 15 % thought it did not matter and 8 % were in doubt or had no opinion.
This could be compared to a Danish opinion poll earlier this year which showed that 23.5 % thought Queen Margrethe should abdicate on her 70th birthday, 22.1 % that she should do so before she turned 80 and 42.6 % that she should never abdicate. Perhaps one can conclude that a rather significant percentage both in Sweden and Denmark do not support (or perhaps do not understand?) the central idea of a hereditary monarchy, namely that the head of state is in office for life.
(As my report on the Danish poll this spring caused some confusion to one reader I should perhaps add already now this time that these are results of scientific opinion polls and not my personal opinion – the same goes for what follows).
Another opinion poll (external link), made by Forskningsgruppen för Samhälls- och informationsstudier (FSI, roughly “The Research Group for Society and Information Studies) on behalf of Dagens Nyheter, seems to have asked a rather oddly phrased question. According to this poll 40 % think the royal family “is good”, while 28 % think it “is bad”, while 46 % think the monarchy “is good” and 25 % that the monarchy is “bad”. This could be compared to the results of the same poll in 1996, when 69 % thought the royal family was good and 13 % that it was bad and 70 % thought the monarchy was good and 10 % that it was bad. This, held together with two recent opinion polls which showed 56 % and 58 % in favour of the monarchy, seems to confirm that the Swedes have again become more critical of their monarchy and royal family in recent years.
On the other hand one of the tabloids last week referred to an opinion poll which allegedly showed that 72 % were in favour of the monarchy and 16 % in favour of a republic replacing it. I have however been unable to find any reference to this poll on the Internet and the newspaper did not give any details such as when the poll had been taken up. It would have been very interesting to know if it had been done just after the royal wedding as several analysts, including me, have long expected that the royal wedding would cause a boost in support for the monarchy. If this poll was indeed made just after the wedding it would seem that the boost materialised quickly.