The Swedish Election 2018 - My Initial impression
As the 2018 Swedish Election has passed and the only votes left to count is the ones that comes in internationally, and will just shift the result in minor ways, what we see now in the result tables is what we get. and I wanted to pen down some of my thoughts of the aftermath - What did I get wrong? What did I correctly predict?
It is still uncertain who is going to be in the driver seat and be able to appoint Prime Minister. The citizens of Sweden has pitched in their votes, now its parliamentary games that is going to decide the rest - The tightness of the two traditional right and left-wing factions are too slim for one to rule with majority in the Swedish "Riksdag", new alliances need to be build for the ability to have that privilege.
The rulings Social Democrats and their biggest opponent, the Conservative Party, both dropped in support with the SocDem's still being the largest party by popular vote. But, the Social Democrats did their worst election in over 100 years, a historical event in Swedish Democracy. 17.6% of the Swedes voted for the Swedish Democrats that did almost 5%-units better this election than the last, thus being in the unique position of being the scale-tipper as they please. More on this later.
There was two major thing I got wrong going in to the 2018 election that I predicted. I thought that the Green Party was going to not be able to gather enough support to stay in parliament and that Feminist Initiative would get through the door to get their first taste of power at the highest level of politics in Sweden.
Feminist Initiative had an absolute crash in amount of votes, going from 3.12% back in last election and on the cusp to enter the parliament (the barrier to entry is 4%) - To now only cashing in 0.4%. That is an astounding drop in support! On the official web page of the party they are celebrating that they are still around and that they got support in new places. For that they should get a "the glass is half full" medal, in my opinion.
A slighter crash was had by The Green Party, setting them on the razor edge of getting kicked out of the halls of power - Gathering 4.3% of the total votes, losing almost a third of their former support.
Why was I so wrong about Feminist Initiative (FI)? I was overvaluing the "Underdog Effect" and social medias impact on the election - Two very critical points to get wrong and a lesson for any future elections. FI did a great job at gathering support, likes, shares and other interactions on their internet channels, but this seem to have been mere digital noise and not give them any traction when it comes to getting actual votes.There is no doubt that your presence on social media is going to be defining future elections, this one was just not it - Traditional media coverage is still a key component to your success.
On election night Stefan Löfven, current prime minister, said:
- "Its time to have a funeral for left-right politics"
Meaning he wants to make a minority administration and are leaving the door open for the Center Party, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats to negotiate with the Social Democrats - Along with their traditional allies, the Left Party and the Green Party - For a coalition style government rule. Realistically speaking, neither the Christian Democrats or the Liberals should be interested in this, since their political and economical principles are on paper not compatible with a Social Democratic plan of action. But the big question mark is the Center Party. With enough wiggle room for their high priority politics they are selling to their voters, there is a possibility of them going from slightly right to slightly left with enough lust for power.
How much this political game will upset the Social Democrats traditional ally, the Left Party, is to be seen. A week of intense negotiations on the Left side of politics will occur for sure.
The Conservative party, clocking in as the second largest party and the leaders of the right-wing Alliance (Consisting of themselves, the Liberals, Center Party and Christian Democrats) gave a very clear message after the results was posted: They want the Social Democrats to leave the seat of power and place themselves on it. Ulf Kristersson, the party leader of the Conservative party, has said he isn't interested in ruling with the third largest party and the pariah in Swedish politics: The Swedish Democrats. This leaves him with very few new negotiation partners around his table.
The Swedish Democrats gained new wind under their wings and flew up to 17.6% of the total votes and grabbed an additional 13 seats in parliament - Becoming the clear third biggest party and can mess up every other political block as they wish. After the 2014 election there was still some elbow space for the other parties to ignore and outvote the Swedish Democrats, but this time they have grown larger and it will be impossible to get a coherent, streamlined political construction without having them in mind - They are simply put too big for those kinds of tactics now.
The election might be over, but the games have just begun.
-- Alex Utopium --
Source of the election numbers is from the official Swedish Vote Agency, found here.
Interested in more Scandinavian politics? I recommend you to head over and bookmark my blog. One of my latest essays being a short piece on the Social Democratic Party being the socialistic power center, backed up by and backing up the communists.