'It's not a Green wave, it is a tsunami,' Swiss Green Party hails historic election gains
Green Party leader Regula Rytz (right) has lead the party since 2011. (CREDIT: AFP via Getty Images )

Green Party leader Regula Rytz (right) has lead the party since 2011. (CREDIT: AFP via Getty Images )

Switzerland's Green party celebrated projected elections results on Sunday, moving politics to the left in a country typically dominated by the center-right.  

Projections based on preliminary results collected in most of Switzerland's cantons put the far-right Swiss People's Party (SVP) in the first place although they lost ground, along with other established parties, to a surge in Green support. 

The SVP, who campaign on an anti-immigration, anti-EU platform are projected to drop under 26 percent, wiping out gains the party achieved in 2015. 

"It is not a green wave, it is a tsunami, a hurricane," Celine Vara, deputy Greens leader told Swiss radio. Vara won a seat in the upper house of parliament for the canton of Neuchatel. 

Prospective results put the party's support at 12.7 percent of the vote, up from 5.6 percent. Along with the centrist-Green Liberals, environmentalist parties appear to have won over 20 percent of the vote, which would give them a combined 26 seats in the 200-seat lower house of parliament. 

The green parties could potentially win a place on Switzerland's seven-seat governing cabinet, largely split between the same four parties since 1959.

Cabinet seats have been divided up among the SVP, Social Democratic Party of Switzerland, Liberals and Christian Democrats. The three biggest parties get two seats and the fourth-biggest gets one under the informal "magic formula" system.

Switzerland's environmental interest has coincided with the release of a report that states glaciers in Switzerland have shrunk by 10 percent over the last five years.

According to research from the Cryospheric Commission (CC) of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, around 2 percent of the country's total glacier volume has disappeared over the last year, a record-breaking figure linked to the heatwave in the summer.

The Swiss Green's success reflects a surge in support for environmentalist parties across central and western Europe. In the 2019 European parliamentary elections, the European Green Party won an extra 22 seats. Much of their support coming from Germany and France.

Source(s): Reuters