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Swedish Election Analysis: A Country Divided

Sweden flag, 2-finger peace sign

What Happened

Sweden has, in the last couple of years, suffered from a massively conflicting set of political opinions. There are very divided views across the country as to the situation in Sweden as well as the government's management of the country.

This week saw the results of the 2018 elections, arguably a more important vote than the previous, due to the political developments in the past few years.

Sweden has consisted of two main Alliances; “Red-Green Alliance” including the Social Democrats, Green Party and Left Party, and “The Alliance” which includes The Moderate Party, The Centre Party, The Liberals, and the Christian Democrats.

For the past three elections, the government of Sweden has consisted of coalitions, with The Alliance in power until 2014 and the current government being the other coalition.

The third main side is that of the Swedish Democrats who champion an anti-immigration focus. They have been slowly gaining traction amongst the voters, holding 12.6% of the votes in 2014, up from 5.7% in 2010. This election the vote rose to 17.6%, another steady increase from the previous election cycle.

Meanwhile, both the other main parties (Social Democrats and The Moderate Party) have failed to gain ground, losing 12 seats and 13 seats respectively. Both coalition groups sit roughly even, with only a two-seat difference, the Red-Green Alliance with 144 seats and The Alliance with 142. Neither coalition is able to form a government as the required number of seats held is 175.

Current Analysis

Although neither coalition can make a government, neither Alliance wants to bring the Swedish Democrats into coalition with them. So for now lengthy political talks will continue as to the establishment of a government.

The most likely way of this happening will be by the ‘switching sides’ of a party so that the seat requirement is made to put a coalition government in power.

This will leave the Swedish Democrats with relatively little influence. What is more, the December Agreement further cuts any influence their party numbers might have had.

The December agreement was the deal agreed upon in 2014 when the Red-Green Alliance did not have enough support for its budget. The Swedish Democrats backed the budget of The Alliance ensuring political chaos in the country as length negotiations had to take place. Both coalitions, however, came to terms that would set a political standard of the future; “They agreed that if it looks like a future government budget won't get enough support, then the main opposition parties either won't vote for or won't put forward a rival budget.” This meant that the Swedish Democrats vote was made irrelevant, and the continued commitment to this agreement means that it will remain irrelevant for a while to come.

Lessons for the Future

What this holds for Sweden is most likely another coalition government under the previous Red-Green Alliance plus whichever parties are likely to switch sides to help form the majority. This means another four years of a heavily pro-immigration, pro-EU government.

The increasing vote for the Swedish Democrats is more notable as a long-term trend, the Social Democrats have been declining since 2006, and the Swedish Democrats have been filling some of that void. This demonstrates more than ever before the growing spread of anti-immigration sentiment amongst the Swedish population.

It is more than likely that with a projected rise in support during this next governmental period all the way to the next election cycle that the Swedish Democrats are only going to rise further in popularity. Bringing to the forefront one of the main issues they campaign on – immigration.

Ray Jones / Journalist
I am a Proud Patriot. I have a degree in history and international law with an interest in anthropology. I aim to make Americans realize their greatness!
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  1. When vermin invest, and you don't eradicate, they continue to breed, even if hidden behind baseboards. This election does not eradicate, this election merely says, "We need an exterminator." My opinion is these voices will not be respected, much like the Brexit walk-back (OK, so it's not officially walked back yet).

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