The first exit poll from Sweden’s SVT is out, and while it has been deemed “too close to call”, the initial results may present a major headache for Sweden’s establishment – and Brussels – as they show Sweden’s four-party opposition with 39.6% of the vote, while the red-green block of government parties including the Social Democrats and Green and their Left Party ally, just behind, with 39.4% of the vote, a remarkable if expected decline from the 2014 election.
The full details from the SVT exit poll, via Bloomberg, which has called the results a “dead heat”:
Red-green block (39.4%):
- Social Democrats backed by 26.2% vs 31% in 2014 election
- Left Party supported by 9.0% vs 5.7%
- Green Party backed by 4.2% vs 6.9%
Four-party alliance opposition (39.6%)
- Moderate Party supported by 17.8% vs 23.3%
- Center Party supported by 8.9% vs 6.1%
- Liberals backed by 5.5% vs 5.4%
- Christian Democrats backed by 7.4% vs 4.6%
Meanwhile, the nationalist Sweden Democrat party which has been the center of attention in this election, is said to be backed by 19.2% of the vote, largely in line with preliminary polling, and a 50% surge from the party’s 12.9% result in the 2014 election, if below the 20% psychological level which many had kept a close eye on.
If results hold, the Sweden Democrats would become bigger than the Moderate Party and be the second largest party in parliament. And while none of the established parties have indicated they want to work with the SD, it is becoming increasingly hard to ignore. Furthermore, as we noted earlier, analysts believe that 39-year-old party leader Jimmie Akesson will likely end up with some influence on policy. Ahead of the election, Akesson had promised to sink any government that refuses to give his party a say in policy, particularly on immigration.
Meanwhile, in yet another disaster for Europe’s establishment, the Social Democrats’ result of 26.2% would be the worst since general voting started in 1921. And, as Bloomberg notes, it’s pretty clear that the Alliance opposition would try to form a government with a result like this.
Sweden, SVT exit poll:
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) September 9, 2018
As Bloomberg notes, Tobias Baudin, who is the head of Sweden’s municipal workers union, Kommunal, tried to put a positive spin on the exit polls (his union backs the Social Democrats).
“It’s clear that the biggest losers, if this result were to be true, are the Moderates. The Green Party is close to the threshold. But Stefan Lofven still leads the biggest party, the party that is trusted by most Swedes.”
So while we wait for the official results, it’s going to be a long night in Stockholm.
As a reminder, since for now it appears that there won’t be a clear winner, in terms of what happens next, if Prime Minister Lofven doesn’t resign based on these results he will face a confidence vote in parliament two weeks after the election. Then, if he loses, the speaker will present a new candidate for prime minister to parliament. Historically, the speaker has never had to present more than one government alternative, the first proposal has always been accepted according to Bloomberg.
Parties will have a maximum of four attempts to form a government, otherwise a new election will be held within three months. A new government, or a Lofven II-cabinet, will need to present a budget to parliament within three weeks of assuming office, Nov. 15 at the latest, while a budget vote will be held in December.
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