Sweden Democrats double their vote

Leaders of the Sweden Democrats attending the opening of parliament in 2010: four years later their support has more than doubled

The main nationalist party in Sweden – the Sweden Democrats – were the big winners in the Swedish general election this weekend.  Their vote increased from 5.7% to 12.9%, making them the third largest party in the Riksdag, Sweden’s parliament.

The defeated conservative Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is certain to quit as leader of his Moderate Party, which was the largest section of the centre-right coalition that has ruled Sweden for the past eight years.  He has always ruled out any coalition agreement with the Sweden Democrats, but any new conservative leader is bound to come under pressure to change course, especially as none of the existing parties or alliances can now command a parliamentary majority.

The centre-left Social Democrats who ruled Sweden for most of the post-war years are likely to return to power at the head of a coalition with far-left and green parties, but will need additional Riksdag votes from somewhere.

As it happens the demonised but electorally successful Sweden Democrats aren’t especially radical nationalists: they campaign for an end to multiculturalism but in favour of assimilating ethnic minorities into Swedish culture.  Fraser Nelson of the Spectator has an interesting analysis of this weekend’s Sweden Democrat victory here.

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