Sweden is facing a very difficult political situation right now. There really is no reason for it, except that the seven older parties have invested every shred of prestige into blocking Sverigedemokraterna (SD) from getting any influence whatsoever. But they can’t break their traditional alliances and blocks either. Since SD is now the third largest party with 13% of the votes, this presents a great problem for prime minister-to-be Stefan Löfvén.
Oddly, there is no reason for this absolute boycot of SD other than it’s demand for Sweden to scale back it’s extremist immigration policy to that of the neighboring Nordic countries. All other seven party leaders have declared this to be racist and despicable to the point of making them physically ill, each of them vowing to their voters never to cooperate with SD in any way. This is despite polls showing that a majority of Swedes actually favor less immigration along with growing proof that the current policy is indeed quite costly to Swedish society, which may be a factor behind SDs more than doubling in size this election.
So… The previous government consisted of the four traditionally right-slanted parties Moderaterna (M), Folkpartiet (Fp), Kristdemokraterna (KD) and Centern (C) forming The Alliance. M was (and still is) the second biggest party and was led by prime minister Reinfeldt for eight years up until the disastrous election a few days ago, where they dropped from 30 to 23%. Reinfeldt resigned on the spot and walked off the stage during election night. Literally.
Since the Alliance now only has about 39% of the votes, they lost. However, the leftist coalition of Socialdemokraterna (S), Miljöpartiet (MP) and Vänsterpartiet (V) only has 44% they don’t have the majority to form a new government either. Nor can they pass the new budget. Loon party FI fell short of the 4%-mark and fortunately got no seats in parliament.
Thus, there is a desperate tug-of-war, where Löfvén is trying to break the small parties away from the Alliance to mash them into his leftist coalition. In other words, the arch enemy. This would be the death knell for the small Alliance parties, as voters would find their rightist vote turning out to give power to exactly the traditional leftist policies they voted AGAINST. Naturally, they have all turned down Löfvén. So far.
Now, the bizarre thing here is that either side can decide to get in power if they only wanted to. If the Alliance were to drop the prestige and simply invite SD to the table, they would have a stable majority government with a M prime minister (being the largest party in the Alliance). Likewise, Stefan Löfvén could easily end his predicament by doing the same. SD party leader Jimmie Åkesson has made it clear that he is open to talks with either side, since SD is essentially a centrist party.
How is this chicken race going to end? We’ll know soon enough. Either way, Löfvén must present a new government by noon next friday. Tick-tock.