Swedish right poised to take power as PM accepts election defeat

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STOCKHOLM, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Sweden’s Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson said on Wednesday after Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson recognized her social democracy He will begin work on forming a new government following the party’s defeat in the weekend’s general election.

Moderates, the Sweden Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals appear to be on course to win 176 seats in the 349-seat parliament, compared with 173 for the centre-left, according to the latest figures from electoral authorities.read more

A small number of votes are still to be counted, but the results are unlikely to change significantly.

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“I will now begin to form a new government that will get the job done,” Christerson said in a video on his Instagram account.

The election marked a watershed in Swedish politics, with the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, a party rooted on the fringes of white supremacy, about to gain influence over government policy.read more

The party’s success has replaced Christerson’s Moderates as the country’s second-largest party, and its success has sparked fears that Sweden’s politics of tolerance and inclusion are a thing of the past.

Their mantra, however, that Sweden’s ills – especially gang crime – are the result of decades of overly generous immigration policies, has alarmed many voters.

Christerson said he would build a government “for all Sweden and all citizens.”

“There’s a lot of frustration in society, fear of violence, worries about the economy, the world is very uncertain, and the political polarization in Sweden has become too great,” he said. “So my message is that I want to unite, not divide.”

Despite Christerson’s smaller party, the leader of the Sweden Democrats, Jimmie Akesson, has been unable to garner the broad right-wing support needed to overthrow the Social Democrats.

Christerson may try to form a government with the Christian Democrats and rely on the support of the Sweden Democrats and Liberals in parliament.


Prime Minister Anderson accepts defeat but warns that many Swedes fear the Sweden Democrats’ electoral success.

“I see your concern and I agree,” she said.

The Sweden Democrats aim to make Sweden the EU’s toughest country on immigration policy, including legislation that would allow people to refuse asylum on religious or LGBTQ grounds.

The party wants to cut the economic benefits of immigrants and give police more powers, including allowing searches in troubled areas without a specific criminal suspect.

The Sweden Democrats looked set to win 20.6% of the vote, compared with 19.1% for the moderates. The Social Democrats will account for 30.4%.

Christerson, who holds a narrow majority, faces many challenges, not least the fact that his party’s primary status.

Forming a government and agreeing on a budget has not been easy, as the Liberals and Sweden Democrats refuse to serve in government jointly or individually, and disagree on many policies.

“Sweden will now get a government that is only one or two parliamentary seats away from a government crisis,” Anderson said.

She said her door is open to Christerson if he wants to reconsider his alliance with the Sweden Democrats.

Furthermore, Sweden is in the midst of a cost of living crisis and could be heading for a recession next year.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has destabilized the Baltic region — Sweden’s backyard — and uncertainty remains over whether Turkey will eventually agree to Stockholm’s bid to join NATO.read more

Measures to tackle climate change and long-term energy policy also need to be tackled thoroughly, along with filling holes in the welfare system exposed by the pandemic and funding a planned surge in defense spending.read more

The results are still subject to official confirmation, possibly before the weekend.

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Reporting by Simon Johnson and Anna Ringstrom Editing by Terje Solsvik, Mark Potter and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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