Voters go to the polls in Swedish Election 2018 on September 9 to pick their new legislature, and with it a prime minister.
This beautiful northern European country last voted in 2014, electing the Social Democratic Party and Stefan Löfven after his SDP spent the prior eight years in opposition. Löfven’s party has not been held to a one-term government in almost 100 years, but with the striking changes to Sweden’s political landscape, anything can happen.
A major force in this vote will be the Sweden Democrats. Affiliated with the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe, a European organization including the Alternative for Germany and the UK Independence Party, you can probably guess their views. Indeed, like those other parties, the Sweden Democrats are right-wing populists running on a platform of Euroskepticism and overhauling the immigration system.
It just so happens that the Sweden Democrats are rising in the opinion polls, which means how the Riksdag seats will scatter is anyone’s guess. What we do know is that they would need to win the election outright to make leader Jimmie Åkesson the prime minister, as they are unlikely to get the support of any of the other parties in the Riksdag. A December 2014 agreement by six of the eight parties in the Riksdag made for political peace at the expense of the Sweden Democrats. Those main parties agreed to let the government of the day get its budget passed, among other things, as a way of freezing the SD out of power.
This agreement collapsed less than a year later as the Christian Democrats withdrew.
Now, nobody knows what will happen after the September 9th vote, but expect a divided Riskdag with no party coming close to a majority.
Results will be available in this space after the election.
Swedish Election 2018: Major Parties and Leaders
|Social Democratic Party (S)|
|Stefan Löfven (Prime Minister)|
|Moderate Party (M)|
|Ulf Kristersson (Leader of the Opposition)|
|Sweden Democrats (SD)|
|Green Party (MP)|
|Gustav Fridolin and Isabella Lövin|
|Centre Party (C)|
|Christian Democrats (KD)|
|Ebba Busch Thor|
|Feminist Initiative (FI)|
|Gudrun Schyman and Gita Nabavi|
Swedish Election 2018 Results
While the opinion polls told us that the Sweden Democrats were making gains, they did not tell us just how close the left and right parliamentary blocs would be. In very close to the final numbers, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s left parties were on track for 144 seats. The right bloc, headed by the Moderates, is forecasted at 143. The Sweden Democrats were on 62.
Löfven’s Social Democrats are the single-largest party with 101 seats. His coalition, however, almost lost the Green Party, who just barely got back into the Riksdag with 4.3 percent. Four percent is needed to be awarded seats.
175 seats are required for a majority, meaning both the left, right, and Sweden Democrats are all well short of governing alone.
Social Democrats (S): Lost 12 seats.
Moderates (M): Lost 14 seats.
Sweden Democrats (SD) Gained 13 seats.
Centre (C): Gained 9 seats.
Left (V): Gained 7 seats.
Christian Democrats (KD): Gained 7 seats.
Liberal (L): No change.
Green Party (MP): Lost 10 seats.
Those who call Sweden home can look forward to days and weeks of political uncertainty based upon this result.
Swedish Election Polls 2018
Polls for Swedish election 2018, like most other modern votes in this country, are analyzed by adding together the left and right blocs. On the left are Social Democratic Party (S), the Green Party (MP), and the Left Party (V). The right bloc is the Moderate Party (M), Centre Party (C), Liberals (L), and Christian Democrats (KD). In the middle are the Sweden Democrats (SD), threatening to shake up the Riksdag.
There are also smaller parties, such as the Feminist Initiative, but the aforementioned parties are the ones currently in the legislature. Pollofpolls.EU aggregated the results depicted below.
Swedish Election 2018: How Members Are Elected To The Riksdag
Sweden uses the Sainte-Laguë method to elect its parliamentarians; other notable countries using this electoral system are Germany and New Zealand, in the mixed-member proportional variety. Electors have one vote for their party of choice. Party list members come from each of 29 constituencies.
In order to qualify for seats in the Riksdag, a party must receive at least four percent (4%) of the vote. Parties under this threshold receive zero seats.
175 seats is needed for a majority government.
Swedish Election 2018: Potential Seat Distribution
Running the latest poll averages through the Sainte-Laguë calculator for all the individual parties, and then adding them into their blocs, it becomes easy to see why the Sweden Democrats will have trouble. At just 68 seats when they average 19 percent of the vote, they’re still on an island. Both of the other blocs are well over 100 seats and, if they re-enter into a covenant like the December Agreement, can effectively ignore the SD. In order for them to govern, they would not only need to be in first place, but realistically doing about 15 to 20 points better than what they are getting now.
They will continue to play the role of an isolated third party, but with a larger seat count than before.
More on elections happening in Europe can be found at our European elections page.