Swedish Sanna on third
Swedes (and most other Europeans too) were glued to their TV screens Saturday night as this year’s Eurovision Song Contest took place in Copenhagen. The winner was perhaps somewhat unlikely (but then again, perhaps not): A bearded lady from Austria by the name of Conchita Wurst. Wurst, who performed with long black hair, a glittery gown, beautifully made up eyes, and a full beard, can truly exclaim: ”Veni, vidi, vici!” as she took Europe by storm with her song ”Rise Like a Phoenix”. Whether it was the best song or not is something that doesn’t really enter into the discussions, Wurst won because of the message she put forth: A symbolic and political performance about tolerance and diversity in Europe. Sweden’s Sanna Nielsen, who says she’s been dreaming of competing for Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest for a long time, ended up on third place. Her ballad ”Undo” was sung in such a way that Swedes got goose bumps.

Only 6 in 10 trust Reinfeldt
Discontent is breeding among the center-right voters in Sweden. Four out of ten of the Alliance voters (the center-right Alliance currently in power under Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt) believe Stefan Löfven of the Social Democrats will become Sweden’s next Prime Minister. Four years ago, the Alliance was behind with over 10% only halv a year before the election, but miraculously turned the tables and won. And just a year ago, as many as 82% of the Alliance’s voters still believed in victory for Reinfeldt, even though the opposition at that point was ahead with 6% in Yougov’s May poll. But with only four months left before the election, only 59% of the Alliance’s voters still believe in victory. ”One might ask whether the Alliance voters are realists or if they are losing faith in Reinfeldt’s ability to turn the opinion around the way he did in 2010,” says Lars Gylling, Director of Communications at Yougov. And seen among the entire electorate the collapse has been even greater. Still, Press Secretary for the Moderate Party Kent Persson doesn’t worry: ”Closer to two million voters make up their minds the last week prior to the election. We’ll talk to 900,000 people and we believe this will have an impact on the result,” he says. For the first time ever in a political party poll, the feminist political party Feminist Initiative is being polled and reported on. The party received 2.6% of the voters. Lars Gylling took a closer look at from which parties Fi picked their voters. He emphasizes that the statistical data is very thin. ”In the debate, Fi has been put forth as part of the Left unit, however in our mini study, the party takes four of ten voters from the Alliance, especially Folkpartiet (the Liberal People’s party) is losing to Fi.” Today 48.9% are for the Social Democrats, the Left Party, and the Green Party, whereas 36.4% are for the Alliance.

Choosing vacation according to exchange rate
A survey conducted by Novus on behalf of Ticket, shows that every fifth Swede chooses his or her summer vacation destination based on the currency rate. ”We notice that somewhat odd destinations are increasing in popularity, destinations that aren’t deemed as ’classical’ summer destinations,” says Maria Gertell, Communications Manager at Ticket. So which are these places? Well, the destinations that have increased most are Istanbul, Budapest, and Reykjavik. And the common denominator among these is that they all have a falling exchange rate. Even Tokyo is a destination more and more Swedes choose. According to Bodil Hallin, who is a family economist at Ikano Bank, Swedes have always wanted a lot of vacation for their money and always customized their vacations according to the exchange rate. She spots a trend in the Swedes’ travel plans through the years. ”In the 1950’s and 60’s we wanted cheap luxury around the Mediterranean, in the 1980’s we discovered Thailand, and today we want to combine beach and city,” she says. Another trend that’s mirroring how Swedes want to vacation is the customized trend. ”This is much thanks to safer travel sites. We want to go to new places and combine peace and quiet with a livelier side,” says Hallin. 1,308 Swedes in the 18-79 year age group were polled, and the poll took place in February this year.

Born at the right time
”Never been lonely, never been lied to, never had to scuffle in fear, nothing denied to – born at the right time,” Paul Simon sang. But how many babies in Sweden are actually born at the right time? Less than one in 20 it turns out. If you’re a parent you clearly remember your baby’s ”due date”. But figuring that out is near impossible, in spite of ultrasounds. And how old the fetus is, is of great importance. It is dangerous to be born too early and it is equally dangerous to be born too late. ”It’s a bonus if parents keep good track,” says Harald Almström, President of the Swedish Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Statistics Sweden shows that only 4.6% of the Swedish children are born at the right time, 4.7% are born one, two, or three days later. ”If it differs more than several days then that’s no good,” says Almström, who believes that most babies ought to be born on their due date. He suspects that doctors and nurses around the country do not measure things the way they should. ”If this is what it looks like around the country, then that’s a clear sign that there are businesses that don’t follow up in an optimal way. That’s something Socialstyrelsen (the National Board of Health and Welfare) ought to point out to them.” However, Socialstyrelsen doesn’t worry. ”If these statistics don’t mirror reality, then it may be necessary to revise it. But it’s not all that important,” says midwife and investigator Karin Gottvall.