Rightists gain in Swiss election

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ZURICH, Oct 21 (Reuters) The right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) consolidated its position as the biggest grouping in the alpine nation's parliament today, scooping 28.8 percent of the vote according to preliminary general election results.

The SVP's victory was widely expected after the populist party ran a controversial campaign calling for the expulsion of foreigners who commit serious crimes. The party increased its share of the vote by 2.1 percentage points.

The SVP's nearest rivals, the Social Democrats (SP), slipped by some 4 percentage points to 19.1 percent, according to a national projection based on partial results provided by Swiss broadcaster SF.

REUTERS RL RAI2303

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