8 years and two terms. That’s how long the center-right Swedish Alliance has been ruling: historically, it’s a unique case in the socialist, welfare-state modelled Nordic country. The current prime minister Reinfeldt of the Moderates has been in charge since 2006, with the considerable result of reaching the electoral percentage points of the Social Democratic Party. In fact, in 2010 the Moderates got 30% of votes at national elections: despite the socialists still were the main party, a new center-right coalition-based minority cabinet was possible.
On sep. 14th Swedish people are called for the new election of the parliament, the Riksdag and apparently, things are going to change. What’s now the opposition (the left parties) appears to have more support than the Alliance. Actually, this time the left parties are not gathered together in the previous Red-Green coalition (left-wing party, green party and Social Democrats), rather they run separately, with the possibility of a new coalition if required.
The Red-Green Coalition has faced troubled years indeed. After the defeat of the 2006 elections, no sign of improvement was registered in the 2009 European Parliament vote. In 2010, the left parties got fewer seats than four years before. In fact, the only reason why since 2010 the Alliance has not been ruling with a parliamentary majority is the rise of the far-right party Sweden Democrats, who entered into parliament for the first time. In the last 2014 European elections, poor results for the center-right parties gave new hope for the left-wing movements, who have good chances to regain the cabinet with the social-dem leader Stefan Löfven.
But what are the social priorities according to the Swedish people right now? As the Eurobarometer 81 shows, welfare policies are seen as the crucial issue in the country, far more than issues like unemployment or financial situation. Climate, energy and education registered interest and good results, as they are part of the electoral campaign.
Immigration is one of the most sensitive issues for the Nordic country, as the rise of the xenophobic right-wing party is showing. The Sweden Democrats are taking advantage of the tricky situations in the suburbs of the main Swedish towns, where migrants and refugees hardly integrate. The far-right movement reached almost 10% of consensus in the last EU elections and it will probably confirm its good result in this occasion.
The Moderates are suffering this trend. They can now hope to get between 20 and 25% of support, but with a high risk especially for their center-right allies. Even if Sweden is a pure parliamentary democracy, the minimum threshold to get into parliament is 4%. It won’t be that easy for Center Party and Christian Democrats.
By taking into account the opinion polls issued by Ipso, Sifo and Novus in August, it is possible to graphically represent the simulation of the new Riksdag after the 2014 elections. The so-called Red-Green coalition might get 177 seats out of 349, which are enough for a majority cabinet. The Green Party and the Social Dems could form the new government alone, especially if the threshold hits some of the Alliance parties. The Swedish Democrats will surely increase their seats from the 2010 result. The feminist party, who reached a seat in the last EU elections, hardly will reach 4%.
Stefan Löfven, former unionist leader, will probably be the next prime minister of the Swedish kingdom. Voters will determine whether he will be supported by a minority coalition or a majority alliance.