Last Sunday, Sweden held general parliamentary elections, which are considered the most important in decades. According to recent reports, the right-wing opposition bloc in Sweden is still in the lead . After the vote count, which was initially in favor of the incumbent centre-left government, opposition parties won 176 out of 349 parliamentary seats. Parties supporting the incumbent prime minister won 173 seats. The small gap between the two sides means ballots from abroad could decide the outcome of the election, so the final result will be known on Wednesday.
However, it is already clear that big changes await the country. The fact is that in Sweden, which has traditionally served as a model of the welfare state and was a bastion of liberal practices regarding gender equality, minority rights and migration policy, a party that does not fit into the framework of consensus politics has gained unprecedented support. This is the Swedish Democrats, a far-right anti-immigrant party, which was formed on the basis of the union of neo-Nazi groups active in the 1980s and 90s, and until recently was ostracized by mainstream parties. The "Swedish Democrats" were first elected to parliament in 2010, and now, judging by the average polls, they have the support of 20% of voters, second only to the ruling Social Democratic Labor Party (SDRPSH). In third place with 18% in the polls is the center-right Moderate Coalition Party, the main party of the opposition right-wing bloc.
Political scientist Alexander Ivakhnik explains what the electoral platform of the Swedish Democrats is. This is the introduction of strict law and order in a country where organized crime has increased markedly in recent years, often associated with a migrant environment. The party advocates a ban on the entry of new asylum seekers, tougher criminal penalties, the mandatory deportation of migrant criminals, a ban on begging, and increased police freedom in disadvantaged suburbs. The "Swedish Democrats" are speculating on recent high-profile cases of shootings and explosions in public places, incl. in shopping centers. These cases are associated with showdowns between criminal gangs that are fighting for the drug and weapons market and are often controlled by ethnic clans. Naturally, this inspires fear in ordinary citizens, which is purposefully inflated by the “Swedish Democrats” on social networks and on YouTube. Leading the party for 17 years, Jimmy Okesson has a knack for speaking out loud and engaging the public. He is extremely active in the campaign, traveling around the cities of the country. In his speeches, Åkesson paints a grim picture of a country ravaged by crime, where gangs roam the countryside, breaking into houses, stealing and robbing. The right-wing leader is calling for a chance for his party to "make Sweden great again."
In the event that the rightists really win, a right-wing bloc consisting of the Moderate Coalition, Christian Democratic and Liberal parties will come to power in the country.
The peculiarity of the situation is that the mainstream right-wing parties this time are ready to enter into a coalition agreement with right-wing radicals after the elections. If they win, they will nominate Ulf Kristersson, the leader of the Moderate Coalition Party, to the post of prime minister, but Åkesson will have a serious influence on the course of the new government, and in the best case for him even become a minister. So Sunday elections can really become milestones…”