As predicted in the polls, the Swedish election on Sunday was extremely close. In early vote count, the leftist coalition consisting of social democrats, the left party, the center party, and the greens, held a slight edge of 1-3 seats in the parliament, the Riksdag.
After 11 p.m., when the big-city precincts reported, the balance shifted by an equally tiny margin in favor of the Swedish democrats, the moderates, the Christian democrats, and the liberals, who form the center-right coalition. As of 3:38 a.m. Monday, September 12th, with 6,229 of 6,578 precincts reporting, the Swedish Election Agency, Valmyndigheten, reported the following vote distribution:
- Social democrats 30.5%;
- Swedish democrats 20.7%;
- Moderates 19.1%;
- Center party 6.7%;
- Left party 6.6%;
- Christian democrats 5.4%;
- Green party 5.0%; and
- Liberals 4.6%.
Based on this vote distribution, the Valmyndigheten predicted a preliminary 176 seats in the Riksdag for the center-right coalition and 173 seats for the social-democrat led alternative.
The election agency expects the vote count to be finalized on Wednesday, September 14th.
Previous reports that the Islamist party Nyans could gain seats in the Riksdag, did not come true. However, the party apparently performed well in urban areas with large immigrant populations. This likely deprived the social democrats of votes critical to winning the parliamentary election. In the Rosengård part of the city of Malmö, the social democrats lost an estimated half of their votes from 2018, with Nyans picking up the bulk of them.
In many precincts of northeast Gothenburg, with a demographic similar to Rosengård, the “other parties” category received 13-16% of the votes. Here, too, the social democrats suffered substantial losses. In Tensta, an immigrant-heavy housing project in northwest Stockholm, and a traditional leftist stronghold, the social democrats fell below 37% while the “other party” category reached 17%.
The negotiations to form a new government in Sweden are expected to begin in the next few days.
Sven R. Larson is a political economist and author. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Roskilde University, Denmark. Originally from Sweden, he lives in America where for the past 16 years he has worked in politics and public policy. He has written several books, including Democracy or Socialism: The Fateful Question for America in 2024.