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Sweden's "Extra-Ordinary" 2018 General Elections Begins With Possible Populist Sweden

On September 9, 2018 Swedes went to 6 004 polling stations countrywide to cast their votes in what has been dubbed the most extra ordinary general elections in the Nordic nation's modern history.

For the first time, the two biggest established elite political parties, namely the Social Democrats and the Moderates, that have dominated and controlled the country's political arena since the early 1900s, have been performing poorly in opinion polls, and facing formidable challenge from a new populist and nationalist party called Sweden Democrats.

The new comers at the political arena consist largely of young politicians under the leadership of a 39 year old Jimmie Åkesson from the southern region of Skåne. In their election manifesto they promised among others, to limit immigration, and thrive towards taking Sweden out of the European Union (Swexit).

According to the results of a recent opinion poll carried out by YouGov for the Metro newspaper and published on September 5, 2018, Sweden Democrats will take 24.8% of the votes in the 2018 general elections, up from 12.9% they got in the last election in 2014. With such a performance, the new comers would win the elections and become Sweden largest political party. The opinion poll results suggested the reigning Social Democrats will slide downwards to second position with 23.8%, while the Moderates will receive only 16.5% of the votes at third place.

Notwithstanding, however, some other opinion polls give a slightly different picture of the possible outcome of the elections. One of them suggests Sweden Democrats would get lesser share of the votes than that suggested by the YouGov poll, but still large enough at 19.6% of the votes to propel them to the position of the second largest party in Sweden. Within this political scenario, Social Democrats would retain their top position as the largest party with 24.1% of the votes, while Moderates would plummet to the third place.

Paradoxically, despite been a registered political party hence legitimate within the confines of Sweden's Constitution, Sweden Democrats have been constantly castigated and isolated by the established elite parties with all of them indicating reluctance to work with them in national political matters. As such, there are now some questions arising in some quarters about whether such uncompromising hostile stance by the established political elites towards Sweden Democrats is good for democracy or even justifiable. Under the current political circumstances, therefore, Sweden Democrats would have to secure over 50% of the votes to be able to form a government. That may be impossible, at least on this occasion. _________________________ © 2015 - 2018 Africa Up To Date. All Rights Reserved

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