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Friday, December 2, 2022

A Right-Wing Bloc Party Has Won a Slender Majority in Sweden, Causing a Dramatic Swing in the Country’s Politics

Sweden’s right-wing parties united to win a remarkable election victory, albeit a narrow one. The victory was buoyed by surging support for a far-right nationalist party called the Sweden Democrats. This election convulsion is expected to shake up national politics and likely bring an end to the center-eight-year left’s rule.

The Swedish Election Authority announced, after more than 99 percent of votes were tallied, that the right-wing alliance had won 176 of the 349 seats in Parliament. The Swedish Social Democratic Party, which is the main party in the coalition that is currently in power, received the highest percentage of votes as an individual party. However, when combined with its allies, the party only received 173 seats in Parliament, which was not enough for it to maintain its position as the ruling party.

The most surprising turn of events was the rise of support for the Sweden Democrats, a party that was long seen as being on the far right but which has since become the second-most popular party in the nation. Although the party’s backing will be necessary for the right-wing bloc to keep its majority bloc in Parliament, it is very improbable that the party would be a formal component of the next administration.

The declaration of the results came after many days of ambiguity. The authorities in charge of the election had delayed declaring a victor in order to count votes that had been sent in or cast by residents who were residing outside the country.

“It will be a very delicate scenario for Swedish parliamentary democracy for the next four years,” Soren Holmberg, a political scientist at the University of Gothenburg, said, adding that there were sufficient political divisions within the right-wing bloc to make agreement impossible.

During the course of the election, the primary concerns of voters appeared to be health care, immigration and integration, the energy crisis that has been caused in large part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and law and order, in particular the increasing prevalence of gun crime in a country that is typically known for having high living standards.

In the face of rising inflation, Ms. Andersson, the outgoing prime minister of Sweden and the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, had pledged to raise welfare benefits, impose a tax on those with the highest incomes, provide assistance to those who have been negatively impacted by rising energy prices, and boost spending on the military. The party won the election with 30.4% of the vote, which was more than any other single party but was not enough to retain the center-left in power.

The Sweden Democrats won 5.7 percent of the vote in 2010, which put them over the necessary threshold for entry into Parliament. The Sweden Democrats were founded in 1988, but they started their very rapid ascent to power in the political sphere in 2010.

This support has increased to 17.5 percent of the vote by the year 2018, and this year, the party received 20.6 percent of the vote. During the election campaign, the party made many promises, including that it would take a more active role in the fight against crime, that it would exercise a higher degree of authority over the educational system, and that it would advocate for repatriation programmes for certain immigrants.

According to Professor Hinnfors, the substance of the worldview held by the Sweden Democrats may be summed up as ethnonationalist and conservative. “They want everyone with their devotion to Sweden,” he remarked, adding that the party considered multiculturalism as the basis of many issues in Sweden.

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