Swedish Prime Minister, Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson, announced on Wednesday that she would submit her resignation after confirming the defeat of the centre-left bloc against the right-wing opposition in the general elections on Sunday.
99.7% of electoral districts were counted, the right-wing opposition won the elections by three seats, 176 against 173, according to this Wednesday’s tally by the Electoral Authority, which includes external voting and advance votes sent on time, but they did not arrive in time.
At the end of a last day of counting after very close elections on Sunday, the outgoing Prime Minister, the Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson, recognized the defeat of her bloc and announced her resignation, which will take effect on Thursday.
The Social Democrats, the most voted force in the last century, defended their top position and won 30.4%, two points more than in 2018. In second place were the far-right Swedish Democrats (SD ), with 20.6%. opposition leader Ulf Kristersson’s Tories, which fell seven tenths to 19.1.
“Almost all the votes have been counted, but the preliminary election result is clear enough,” Andersson told a news conference. The outgoing Prime Minister predicted that it will be a tough and complicated legislature due to the small difference and expressed concern about the rise of the SD.
“It makes a lot of Swedes uncomfortable. I see this discomfort and I share it“said the Prime Minister, who urged to fight hatred and intolerance and called on the other three forces of the right to put limits on the SD. The Social Democratic leader also stressed that her party has obtained a solid electoral result and that it is clearly the largest in Sweden.
The final result places the opposition bloc with 49.6% of the vote against 49 for the center-left and the gap between the blocs increases from one to three seats, compared to the result published on Monday.while the so-called “Wednesday votes” had not yet been counted.
Just over 44,500 votes separated the two blocs on Monday, which had maintained caution these days awaiting a final result, even though the four parties in the right-wing bloc were holding rallies and Swedish media were already speculating on a possible distribution of portfolios. “Wednesday votes” have historically had little influence on the final outcome, with the exception of 1979, when they won the right, after 8,500 votes separated the two blocs on election night.
The SD turned out to be the big winner in the elections, not only was it the force that grew the most, but also the one that wrested the leadership of the right-wing bloc, which it had held since 1979, from the conservatives and will have a direct influence on the formation of government after a decade of isolation.
This far-right party has historically been subjected to a “cordon sanitaire” by the rest of the forces since its entry into Parliament in 2010, which explains why the Social Democrats have governed in a minority during the last two legislatures, whereas in the House there was a majority of the right.
In the last, a pact with the centrists and the liberals was needed, breaking the center-right alliance that had existed since 2004, to maintain isolation, even if the conservatives, Christian Democrats and liberals, who again changed their camp, have long refused to negotiate with the extreme right, although without being in government.
The Swedish media are reporting the possibility that the Conservatives and the Christian Democrats will form a minority executive, led by Kristersson and supported from outside by the other forces in the bloc. However, the SD claims a central role and aspires to be part of the government, its leader, Jimmie Åkesson, said on election night.
The threat of the right has come true
The change is historic, never before has a Swedish government supported itself to govern within the SD, the big winner of this electoral meeting with 20.6% of the vote and the new title of the country’s second party. “Now the work begins for Sweden to get better,” reacted its leader since 2005, Jimmie Åkesson, on his social networks, promising to be a constructive force and initiative.
The leader of the right-wing party welcomed the votes and the electoral campaign which he described as fantastic. Moreover, he assured that the SD was the second party in the country. “Now the failed social-democratic policy which for eight years has led the country on the wrong path will suffice. It is time to start rebuilding security, well-being and cohesion. It’s time to put Sweden first. Swedish Democrats will be a constructive and driving force in this work.expressed the right-hander on his social networks. “A process begins to define in detail how the winning team will be structured and it is a process that will take as long as it takes, all to build a stable new board for the long term”he added.
The SD, which has been described as nationally conservative, anti-immigration (especially anti-Islam), Eurosceptic and far-right, was founded in 1988. The party has normalized itself in the Swedish political landscape and increased its representation until entering parliament in 2010. with the 5.7 percent of the votes. From there, the votes increased with each election.
But, although the SD is the first party of the majority on the right, its leader is not able to obtain the support of the other parties to become Prime Minister, a post promised to Ulf Kristersson. “Thank you for the trust. Now we are going to put Sweden in order!” Immediately reacted Kristersson, leader of the conservative party, on his networks.