Swedish anti-immigrant party strong in preelection polling

11 September, 2018, 07:41 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Swedish politicians have abandoned the nation

Instead, it told a more subtle but increasingly familiar tale now seen across a variety of European parliamentary systems and perhaps further afield, too - that of increasing political fragmentation and the slow decline of dominant political parties.

The far-right wants to curb immigration and has called for Sweden to leave the EU.

At the party's rally on Saturday, he strongly criticised Lofven's government for "prioritising" the cause of immigrants over the needs of citizens.

All the smaller parties, except the Greens, improved on their 2014 results at the expense of the two larger parties. The Centre Party had a strong social media campaign, a prominent leader (Annie Lööf) and an agenda with a pro-tolerance, anti-SD message and strong on the environment. "The bigger they become, the more hard pressed all other parties become".

The Expressen tabloid said in editorial that "it all pointed at the Sweden Democrats taking over the position as Sweden's second-biggest party".

Swedish Moderates' leader, Ulf Kristersson, whose opposition center-right bloc virtually tied with the ruling center-left coalition has urged PM Stefan Lofven and his government to resign. While this performance was much better than predicted in pre-election polls, it is the party's poorest result since 1908.

Lofven said he would not resign and called for cross-party cooperation to resolve the political impasse.

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If that person fails to form a government, it opens the door to fresh elections within three months.

"This election should mark the death of bloc politics".

About 7.5 million voters were eligible to choose the next members of the 349-seat Riksdag, or parliament.

"That really puts the onus on those blocs to try to find a stable governing solution that might just involve the Sweden Democrats in some way, but more likely, probably won't". The opposition parties that make up the so-called Alliance bloc had 39.6 per cent, while the Sweden Democrats garnered 19.2 per cent.

However, both the parties rejected the invitation from the former neo-Nazi party.

The current coalition, headed by outgoing PM Stefan Lofven, is made up of his Social Democrats and the Green Party, and is supported in parliament by the Left Party.

The "Alliance" of the four centre-right parties led by the Moderates had 40.3 per cent and 143 seats. However, it would need some parliamentary support from the Social Democrats.

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His voters are well-placed to understand Europe-wide social problems.

"The parties who have been true to their ideological grounds ― they are the only parties who have raised in support". The long-dominant center-left Social Democrats dropped to their lowest standing in a century, but the night was not almost as much of a bloodbath for them as predicted: The party still won 28.4 percent of the vote, remaining the largest in Sweden.

In contrast, the Social Democrats succeeded in keeping only 66% of their voters from the previous elections, whereas the Conservatives haemorrhaged voters, retaining only half of their 2014 electorate.

Aside from immigration, climate change is an issue many Swedes care about - particularly after a long, hot summer and severe forest fires.

Sweden faced political deadlock on Monday after the far-right made gains in legislative elections whose result makes it tough to form a functioning government. Many allege that immigrants were behind the massive vehicle bombing spree in August, which saw 160 cars torched.

The growing strength of the Sweden Democrats also reflects how old taboos are collapsing.

For those predicting a decisive right-wing triumph, the ultimate result didn't quite live up to the hype.

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"Such a government would be dependent on the Sweden Democrats' support and it wouldn't come without a cost", Lisa Pelling, chief analyst at progressive think-tank Arena Ide, told AFP. So far, he has been rebuffed, but depending on the final vote count, there may be some give, especially since at the local level nearly all parties have already been working together with the Sweden Democrats for some time.

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