On Sunday 9 September, Sweden will vote to elect a new Riksdag. As in other recent European elections, immigration and the EU will be key issues. The vote is being followed closely outside of the country because of the rise of the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD). Support for traditional parties of the centre-left and centre-right has sagged, and the populist, anti-immigration SD look like they could double their vote share.
The Sweden Democrats party was founded in 1988, and has its roots in the white nationalist movement in Sweden in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, since the mid-1990s the party has been working to distance itself from its past and, since 2005, has been led by the charismatic Jimmie Åkesson, who had success in “detoxifying” the SD brand. Critics argue this is purely cosmetic, but supporters point out that there have been several high-profile expulsions of members with more extreme views.
Even if they come first, the influence of the Sweden Democrats may well be limited. It is highly unlikely that the party will be able to form a government. No single party has won an outright majority in a Swedish election since 1968, and so a coalition government will almost certainly be necessary. However, the SD may find themselves as “kingmakers”, able to decide which party actually governs. So, how would they wield their power? What would their policies be, and how would they change Sweden?
What do our readers think? First of all, there is definitely a general feeling among our readers that the SD will do well in the elections. We had a comment from Tom, who thinks the Sweden Democrats will definitely achieve at least second place during the upcoming elections (and could even end up taking the most votes of any party). Might he be right?
To get a reaction, we spoke to Kristina Winberg, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) with the Sweden Democrats. Was she feeling confident?
Yes, indeed, because in the latest polls you can see that Sweden Democrats are rising and I have checked the latest opinion institutions and we are just now the second largest party. So, we might be the biggest party.
To get another perspective, we also spoke to Stephen Brown, Managing Editor of POLITICO in Brussels. How would he respond?
I was surprised when I was in Sweden recently that senior politicians from the top two parties – the traditional two parties, the Social Democrats and the Moderates – both brought up the question of what happens if the Sweden Democrats do take first place. So it is in people’s minds. I think it’s more likely that they’ll take second place or third place, but they will register strong gains. There’s almost no doubt about that.
Next up, we had a comment sent in from Hugo, who doesn’t think the Sweden Democrats have solutions to fix the “real issues” facing the country, and instead use immigrants as scapegoats. Is he right? Do the Sweden Democrats have a vision for Swedish society? Or are they a single-issue party focused only on migration?
In her response, Kristina Winberg certainly doesn’t deny that her party focuses on immigration, but counters that a tougher approach to immigration will also fix the other problems in society, such as healthcare, schooling, housing, and everything else:
Hugo, this is quite an interesting question because if you see in Sweden we have had this mass immigration and that makes changes in our society in different ways. You can see it in the welfare system, like healthcare, schooling, housing, everything. So we are quite good on the questions about healthcare, law and order, and a lot of issues.
Finally, how would Stephen Brown (who has previously spent time reporting from Stockholm and follows Swedish politics closely) respond to the same comment? Does he think the Sweden Democrats are a single-issue party without any serious policy ideas outside of immigration?
They do have some strong thoughts on a few other issues, including the European Union and the euro; I think they can be definitely included as one of the Eurosceptic parties across Europe. That doesn’t mean necessarily that they give any convincing solutions: getting out of the European Union is not in itself a policy proposal, is it? You’ve got to go tell people what you would do instead. Sweden has benefited greatly from being in the European Union; the European Union benefits greatly from Sweden’s presence. I don’t really see that they’re providing any useful policy ideas when it comes to that.
They would also argue that they have a strong line, a strong contribution to the debate on the issue of violent crime, which I know is prominent in people’s mind in Sweden at the moment. I don’t see in their policy proposals anything radical, actually. I don’t see in their policy proposals on crime anything that the Social Democrats and the Moderates either both or individually haven’t already proposed.
How will the far-right change Sweden? Do they have proposals and ideas for society beyond immigration? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!
More cameras and more forceful integration.
Far right and far left are not compatible with the EU. Countries where far right / letft rules must be ousted from the EU.
The far right will never rule in Sweden. They are politically isolated. Have been this term despite their size and the obvious advantage for the cobservative parties to use them to form a majority government. But instead the conservatives have refused to cooperate with them and we have had a minority green-socialist government for four years.
Sweden had a strong and democratic Pirate Party that got smeared by the press, its leaders chased, illegally deported and arrested.
If Swedes could accept that and tolerate #Assange’s persecution, Sweden is no longer what it once was.
Therefore SD’s victory won’t shock anyone.
Well it balances the far-left in the country.
SD are not far-right.
No, they are neonazi.
The normalization of this word to describe anti-immigration and euroskeptic parties is dangerous. Where in the party program do you find the neo national-socialist policies? I’ll debate with a SD voter any day, with the appropriate vocabulary. They’re nationalist and conservative, but that’s very different from neonazi. We’re talking current-day SD.
They are anti immigrant because Sweden is going to be a third world country by 2050 if nothing is done to prevent this. Import scum, become scum, import the third world, become the third world. We are in 2018, you have 32 years left to save Sweden, it is already well below the other Nordics and will continue to plummet with lefties.
You can be anti-immigrant for a lot of reasons, but the Sweden Democrats are anti-immigrant because of their neonazi background.
I’m not sure voting for neonazis is the best way to stear away from disaster. Let’s ask a jew! Or a german.
Far right politics are easy. Even a five ear old child could do it: if it goes well take pride of it. If it goes wrong just blame the inmigrants…
The far right are the natural opposition to Socialism, both are based on failed ideologies and rely on the stupidity of their followers to gain power. That said on the political spectrum the Sweden Democrats party are not even close to being ‘far right’.
While the immigration flow is uncontrolled we will see more and more far right parties, in every country.Hiding the problem under the carpet is not enough for EU.
They will probably not change Sweden very much. There is great controversy in cooperating with them among all parties. They are isolated.
The Sweden Democrats were founded by nazis, their politicians still have many such connections, and their supporters are usually racist and antidemocratic online.
All together not very great prospects of being accepted as partners by other political parties. Hence isolation.
Debating Europe Why do you label them ‘Far right’ ? Is it just because they are anti EU or are you making a clam of racism & of having genocidal policies against them ?
In order to delegitimize they have to be demonized.
What are you implying Ivan? I thought the fascists were ‘far-left’ in your political spectrum?
John The farther of the far left = Karl Marx . The Father of the far right = Karl Marx. Whether it’s the far right or Socialism the result is always the same = destruction & mass murder.
Karl Marx was also far-right? That’s certainly an unorthodox political spectrum. Pray tell, where do you think we got the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ from?
John No, Karl Marx was a raving lunatic who’s idea’s were used to create the modern version of far right & Socialism which have little if anything to do with the original French meaning of political left and right.
They were founded by nazis, as their leader said himself yesterday, and have many ties to neonazis, which they always refuse to comment on. They say they are in the middle of the political spectrum, but they claim all other parties are the same, which of course defies logic a bit.
Will Ivan delete his posts now?
We will see
The mainstream media nowadays calls everybody far right. This is the new language-politics. People now can’t be conservative or right winger. You have to be leftist. All of us. If you are against illegal mass immigration and human trafficking you are far right. If you believe in traditional family you are far right. If you protest against the crimes or rape, you are far right. Very tricky.
At least in Germany they have a left wing that is again wel needed immigrations
IT WILL SAVE IT
For the good! God forbid Sweden is allowed independence.
Hope not at all or to mutch
How will the far-right change Sweden?
All political parties are Globalists. Right and left belong to the same ideology. Once in office, no matter what they offer prior to election, they take up the ideology of Global manipulation. It is deliberate and pr-planned.
One of the reasons Sweden is being conquered easlily is because men have been subjugated. Emasculated. And as a result they are unable to protect and defend. The invader, on the other hand, is the opposite. Agressive and combative. The Swede therefore is incapable of defending their community or culture.
Here is one of the reasons Sweden is on its way to total subjugation from invasion of their land. The right will change nothing. They will shift to Global politics just as the left or any in between the two will do once in office. Have you seen any political party who has avidly stood by the promise in their manifesto? Certainly they have not and do not in the UK. Left and right are both equally politically correct and both are tied into an ideology very few voted for.
Sweden is just as caught up in the game as anywhere else. They are just further into the global political objective than most others. Their chaos is leading the world into cultural annihilation.
As an addendum to the above post.
The hatred of natural male behaviour in Sweden and the growing notion, right across the West, is palpable and it is promoted in school at a very early age. Yet, there, in Sweden, as parents, husbands, men of the world they put up with it. They allow their boys to be abused this way without any substantial stand against it. To remove the natural human instinct, by pretending it doesn’t exist, toward any thinking person, is destructive to their self esteem and mental health. It creates the kind of confusion you see with people who have faced pshysical brutality from childhood. Insecurity, difficulty in decision making and connection to others or forming relationships. Additionally it often leads to serious schizophrenia.
Take a look at this clip.
And this is another point of view.
Why do Swedish women appear to dislike the male of the species so much? And then, in the main, try to emulate their behaviour to a pont where it is often difficult to determine which gender they actually are? Does that not send warning signals of psychopathic behaviour? Psychopathic behaviour that is now found by a growing population to be desirable?