Support for the Swedish Pirate Party really began to surge with the introduction of the IPRED anti-piracy legislation. Its membership already surpassed that of the Green Party, with more than half of men under 30 reportedly considering voting for them in the 2009 European Parliament elections.
Then a guilty verdict was handed down in the Pirate Bay trial – an absolute gift for the Pirate Party, whose ranks swelled at an unprecedented rate. It now sits at just over 41,750 members (latest stats here) and at the current growth rate the party will be Sweden’s third largest in membership before the weekend.
Now a new poll conducted by Swedish newspaper DN.se predicts that the Pirate Party will get 5.1% of all votes in the upcoming EU elections this June – enough to guarantee a seat in the European Parliament. The poll further shows that the party is the second largest party among younger voters in the age group 18-30.
“This poll confirms our recent phenomenal growth in support, and says there will be pirates in Brussels after this election,” Pirate Party Leader Rick Falkvinge told TorrentFreak. “Scoring like this in a poll will further enhance support for the party. While there’s still much work to be done, we’re on the home stretch and have the goal in plain sight. June 7 is election day. On the morning of June 8, we’ll know.”
“In January of 2006, we set sail for new civil liberties land by bypassing today’s politicians and talking directly to voting citizens — that is, with the goal of kicking some of today’s politicians out of office. It appears we’ve just heard the first LAND AHOY! from the watch,” Falkvinge added.
When the Swedish Pirate Party was founded three years ago, the majority of the mainstream press viewed them with skepticism, with some simply laughing them away. Times have changed though. The Pirate Party is now a serious competitor for the established parties in Sweden, and on its way to conquer Europe.