Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sweden may face new elections

Earlier today, the right-wing parties in Sweden managed to pass a budget. Sweden still does not have a new government however, but developments in the past few days have made it unlikely that any grouping can manage to form a government. The Social Democrats and Centre parties are pointing the finger at one another, and the traditional 4 party right-wing coalition is starting to slowly fall apart. The most likely outcome beyond an election is a Conservative lead government backed by the Neo-Nationalists, but the Conservatives are still saying they refuse to work with the Neo-Nationalists.

As such, Sweden may be headed back to the polls sooner before later.

Current polls suggest the Moderate Party (Conservatives) and their close allies the Christian Democrats are down, as well as the Liberals. Other parties are near their election level of support while the Sweden Democrats are up by 2 to 3 points. Such a result would not change the coalition math, and, instead, strengthen the position of the Sweden Democrats (Neo-Nationalist) handing them a potential second place finish. It may, however, convince some of the other right-wing parties to be more willing to bend to the demands of the Social Democrats.

What could change the math is if either the Liberals or the Greens fail to reach the 4% threshold, which some polls suggest is possible. the November 1-7 Sentio poll has both under the threshold. A single poll projection would see the Social Democrats take 108 seats, the Neo-Nationalists take 78, the Conservatives take 71, both the Centre and Left parties take 36, and the Christian Democrats take 20. 144-127-78 would be the new coalition math based on those numbers. If either the Greens or Liberals did pass the threshold, it would give them roughly 15 or more seats, and 15 is not enough to take either alliance over the top and bring them to 175 for a majority.

In short; the impasse will continue, past any election, until one of three things happen.

1 - A coalition between parties not traditionally allied occurs.
2 - A party announces its willing to work with the Sweden Democrats.
3 - The agreement from after the last election is continued; which would see a minority government permitted.

Given the current balance is 144-143-62, it is far more likely for option 3 to occur after an election where one side loses more seats than the other.

My personal expectation is that there's still a chance for a coalition, but that we will have no idea what until the moment as it will depend on exactly when the Social Democrats in particular 'break' and offer compromise, and who happens to be offering that compromise to them at that time. Failing that, the Social Democrats will "win" the next election and option 3 as suggested above will be brought back.

Regardless, refusing to work with the Sweden Democrats can not continue in the long term (IE 20 years from now) so long as they maintain these levels of support, and shutting them out will only see their popularity continue to grow. It is my expectation that the right-wing will eventually agree to work with them, but, likely not until 2022 at the earliest.

On a side note, my alternate history post about 1995 is still half finished. I've been busy with the CMHoC election recently, and this may delay that post slightly.

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