Most Swedes want king to abdicate amid new scandal: Poll

A full 59 per cent of Swedes want the king to step down within the next 10 years, while only 29 per cent think he should reign until his death, according to a Demoskop poll published in the Expressen daily.

The Internet poll conducted yesterday of 620 people also showed that while 73 per cent of those questioned said they had much or very much confidence in Victoria, only 39 percent said the same thing about her father.

Thirty-two per cent of people polled said they had little or very little confidence in the king, compared to just nine percent for the crown princess. The king reached the official retirement age of 65 last month but has said he has no plans to abdicate in favour of his 33-year-old daughter.

The latest poll confirms opinions seen in other recent surveys and comes just days after commercial broadcaster TV4 claimed it had viewed pictures of the king in a strip club in the same shot as two women having sex.

TV4's report came as a new book said friends of the king had been willing to pay large sums of money to block the publication of pictures of him in compromising situations. At least one of his friends reportedly contacted an alleged mafia boss to ask for help to negotiate with the strip club owner and stop him from making the pictures public.

The royal court in Stockholm told AFP today it has demanded that TV4 show the pictures detailed in its report.

"TV4 must show what it is they are talking about. Where's the substance? For now, as far as I can tell, there is no substance to this," court information chief Bertil Ternert said, adding the report had put him in the "impossible situation... of being asked to react to something we have not seen."

"There needs to be some form of justice here. You cannot just attack the royal court and the king without disclosing what the substance is," he insisted.

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