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Sunday’s initiative would have allowed municipalities to give citizens a vote on who gets a Swiss passport. Urban and French-speaking cantons had the largest no-votes.
Geneva topped them all with 82 per cent against.
For five years the rightwing Swiss People’s Party has been able to mobilize a majority of voters on initiatives related to immigration.
Georg Lutz, a politics professor at the University of Lausanne, says the loss is remarkable.
GEORG LUTZ: “I think even the People’s Party expected they could win it. Or at least a much more narrow result.”
Opponents hope those results show voters are softening on the issue of immigration.
One Social Democrat lawmaker told French-language TSR television she’d relaunch a push to automatically grant citizenship to third-generation immigrants.
But People’s Party officials say they have no intention of dropping the issue that’s put them on the map.
As for the other the items on the yesterday’s ballot, three-quarters of voters turned down the other People’s Party initiative against so-called “government propaganda.”
It would have prevented members of the government from giving their opinions on items up for a referendum vote.
More than two-thirds also rejected a constitutional article reforming the Swiss health system.
Critics called it a giveaway to insurance companies.