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Stalemate Election Results In Sweden As Populist Sweden Democrats Become Third Largest Party

No political party managed to secure over 50% of the votes in Sweden's 2018 general elections held on September 9, 2018, necessary for automatic right to build new government. That was expected as several previous governments have been formed by one of the country's two coalitions of parties alias political blocks, namely the Left block led by Social Democrats and the Centre-Right block led by Moderates. What was not expected, however, was both political blocks would have secured almost equal share of the votes with a difference of only two parliamentary seats, hence leading to a political stalemate.

With all the votes counted, the Left block had 40.6% of the votes equivalent to 144 parliamentary seats, while the Centre-Right block had 40.3% of the votes equivalent to 142 seats. At the same time, the isolated populist and nationalist Sweden Democrats made massive gains taking 17.6% of the votes equivalent to 63 seats, up from 12.9% they secured in the last elections in 2014. With the performance, Sweden Democrats are now Sweden's third largest party.

The political stalemate created by the election results makes Sweden Democrats' position very strong. Any of the political blocks aspiring to build new government may be compelled to talk and negotiate with them, especially when it comes to budgetary matters. The only way that can be evaded is the two blocks supporting one another or even merging.

At the moment, however, there are no signs that the two blocks can work together. The Centre-Right block has vowed to ensure the end of the incumbent Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and called upon him to go even before the election results were completed. But the defiant prime minister whose party secured 28.4% of the votes and remains the country's largest, has fired back saying he intends to stay on, albeit willing for talks with other parties. Earlier late on September 9, 2018 as the political stalemate became evident, Mr Löfven said the stalemate implied the demise of block politics in Sweden!

Fascinating political fragmentation unfolding in Sweden!

(Updated on September 11, 2018).


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