Sweden could swing into a new political era. The legislative elections placed, on Sunday, September 11, the outgoing left neck and neck with the unprecedented bloc between the right and the far right, with a final result which could be played out with only one or two seats, according to results. partials.
While the exit polls gave the left a small lead, the right led by the leader of the conservative Moderates Ulf Kristersson, supported by the far right Sweden Democrats (SD), is now in a position of l ‘carry. Based on the votes counted around 11:30 p.m. covering three quarters of the polling stations, it would obtain exactly the absolute majority of 175 seats, for 49.7% of the vote.
The left-wing camp led by outgoing Prime Minister, Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson, is credited with 174 seats, with 48.8% of the vote, according to the tally made by the electoral authority.
The Swedes voted after a campaign of maximum suspense, dominated by the themes of crime and inflation. Never, until these legislative elections, had the traditional right considered governing with the direct or indirect support of the SD party, which claims to be nationalist and anti-system.
A long pariah formation
A long night is shaping up to clarify a result that has become increasingly uncertain as the evening progresses, with differences that could be decided by a few tens of thousands, or even thousands of votes. For a long time pariah, the far-right formation, by crossing the 20% mark, would win a second place never before achieved, thus becoming the first formation of a new right-wing bloc. It marks the strongest progression of the eight parties present in Parliament.
Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, 55, hopes to stay in power by relying on a “red-green” package, for a third term of four years in a row for the left. According to these partial results, the Social Democrats keep as expected their first place since the 1930s, winning votes (30.4%). The Conservatives of the Moderates would drop back slightly and would only be the third party, with 19.0% of the vote.
The campaign was dominated by themes likely to favor the right-wing opposition: criminality and deadly gang settling, soaring fuel and electricity prices, integration problems… But the solid popularity of Mme Andersson, whose trust rating exceeds that of his conservative rival, Ulf Kristersson, as well as the bogeyman of the far right, are making the case for the left.
The five polling institutes gave a very slight lead to the “red-green” camp in their last bursts (49.6% to 51.6%), compared to 47.6% to 49.4% for the total right / far right , but all are within the margin of error. The last two weeks of the campaign saw the far-right party overtake the conservative Moderates party in the polls (around 19-21%), a new record.
“A real chance”
A victory for the right supported by the far right would be a fundamental political change for Sweden, which is due to take over the rotating presidency of the European Union on 1er January and finalize its historic candidacy for NATO.
At the electoral headquarters in the suburbs of Stockholm, SD activists were jubilant at the announcement of the first estimates, waving their flags in the colors of the party, then with the hope of seeing the rights take the final advantage.
In Sweden, the post of Prime Minister traditionally goes to the first party of the victorious alliance. A total of 349 seats are allocated proportionally to parties achieving at least 4%. To be invested, a prime minister must not have 175 or more votes against him, but not necessarily an absolute majority in his favour.
“Now we have for the first time a real chance, a real possibility not just to be an opposition party but also to be part of a new government that takes politics in a completely different direction”reacted the number 2 of the party, Richard Jomshof, at the microphone of SVT.
If the Democrats of Sweden hope for ministries, the other right-wing parties are reluctant to grant them government portfolios, preferring to rely on them only in parliament. On the left too, the exact form of an executive coming out of the polls remains marked by uncertainty, with disagreements between left and center parties. But political scientists say a political crisis similar to the one that followed the 2018 elections – four months to form a government – is unlikely, as the camps are better delineated.