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Sweden’s Center-Right Coalition Looks to Remain in Power

September 22, 2010

Parliamentary elections occurred this weekend in Sweden.

The current government of Alliance and its four-party, center-right coalition came in with 49.3% of the vote and will most likely remain in power. The government is looking to try to add the Greens, traditionally a member of the center-left coalition, to their government in order to create a majority government but differences in energy policy will make this difficult, if not impossible.

This marks the worst performance since 1914 for the Social Democrats who remained the largest party with 30.9% of the vote but will not make up a section of the governing coalition. Altogether, the center-left coalitions came in with 43.7% of the vote . Until recently the Social Democrats had led opinion polls and their poor performance came as a bit of a shock. Swedish trade-union political director Ursula Berge explained their defeat by stating that “The Social Democratic Party has not renewed their politics , they were comfortable with their level of support and they didn’t have the courage to change policy.”

The Sweden Democrats, the right-wing, anti-immigrant party that stirred controversy over their anti-immigration campaign advertisement , passed the 4% threshold needed to have seats in parliament with 5.7% of the vote.  Both the major parties, Alliance and the Social Democrats have stated that they will not cooperate with the Sweden Democrats in the coalition building.

It is expected that the new government will be in place by October 4.

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