Sweden held a general election yesterday, and it did not go the way myself and other lefties would have liked. Parliament has 349 seats, and 175 is thus a majority. Before the election, the various right-wing and centrist parties held 178 seats. Now they hold 192. But the conservative voters have not only become relatively more numerous: they have also diversified in their sympathies, propelling the brown fringe of the right-wing block into Parliament in the shape of a new populist anti-immigration party, the Swedish Democrats.
The Swedish conservatives are basically like the US Democrats. Their leader Fredrik Reinfeldt endorsed Obama before the US election. So not even they want anything to do with the anti-immigration party. This means that the right-wing block has effectively lost a few seats to a party that exists outside and to the right of the two main blocks in Parliament. Of those 192 right-wing seats, only 172 will actually be allowed to take part in government, leaving 157 to the leftie-green block.
There has been some concern that this might give the anti-immigration party undue influence since theoretically they might threaten to block governmental decisions they don’t like by voting with the opposition (157+20=177). But that would mean that they had to vote with the lefties, which is highly unlikely on most contentious issues.
Meanwhile, Reinfeldt is rumoured to be negotiating a deal with the Greens in order to eliminate any possibility of anti-immigration party shenanigans.
I’m a bit disgusted that ~6% of the electorate voted for the anti-immigration party. They’re bigger than the Christian Democrats and the Former Commies now. We had a similar party in Parliament during the 1991-94 period, and they made fools of themselves through inexperience and general stupid thuggishness. At the first opportunity, the voters unceremoniously threw them out. I expect no less for the Swedish Democrats.
As for my home municipality of Nacka, there was little change: most significantly the Soc-Dems that I voted for lost a quarter of their seats to other parties. The only real reasons for me to rejoice somewhat after this election is that my housing estate’s participation was significantly less crap than usual (though it did us no apparent good), and that the anti-immigration party remains unrepresented in our municipal hall.
Update 23 September: After various recounts and checks the final result of the election is right-wing block 173 seats, leftie block 156 seats, anti-immigration party 20 seats.