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Swedes head to polls in close-run election marked by crime, energy crisis

On Sunday, the Swedes voted in an election in which the incumbent centre-left Social Democrats faced a bloc supporting the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats in a bid to regain power after eight years of opposition.

As the number of shootings keeps increasing, it is making campaigning more difficult. While parties are now trying to crack down on gang crime, inflation and the energy crisis which accompanied the invasion in Ukraine have become more prominent.

The home turf of the right is law and order. Social Democratic Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson may be boosted by rising economic storm clouds as businesses and households face high power prices. Because she is trusted and more popular than her party, this is why she is so popular.

“My message was clear: we supported Swedish households during the pandemic. During one of the final debates before the vote, she stated that she would do the same thing again if she had your renewed confidence.


Andersson was Sweden’s finance minister for many years before becoming the first female prime minister of Sweden. Ulf Kristersson, the Moderators leader, is her main rival. He considers himself to be the only one capable of unifying the right and overthrowing Andersson.

Kristersson spent many decades strengthening ties to Sweden Democrats, an antiimmigration group that was founded by white supremacist founders. Although initially excluded from all other parties, the Sweden Democrats are now part of mainstream right.

Kristersson said in a video his party posted that he would prioritise law & order, making its profitable work, and building new climate smart nukes power. Simply put, we want Sweden to be sorted.


Opinion polls indicate that the centre-left is in a neck-and-neck race with the right-wing bloc. Moderates appears to have been overtaken by the Sweden Democrats as the second largest party after Social Democrats.

Many right-leaning voters as well as centre-left voters are disturbed by Jimmie Akesson’s Sweden Democrats potentially influencing government policy or joining the cabinet. Partly, the election will be a referendum on whether they should receive this power.

Kristersson would like to form a coalition with the small Christian Democrats and possibly the Liberals. He will rely on the support from the Sweden Democrat in Parliament. These are not guarantees that the centre-left accepts as true.

Uncertainty is the theme of this election, as both blocs are expected engage in lengthy and difficult negotiations to form government in a politically charged and polarised setting.

Andersson, if she is elected prime minister, will need the support of the Centre Party, Left, and possibly the Green Party.

Annie Loof, whose Centre Party split with Kristersson over Kristersson’s embrace of Sweden Democrats, stated that she has very few red lines. Loof said that she only has a few in a recent interview with SVT.

“One red line I have is that I will not allow the government to give the Sweden Democrats any influence.”

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