It’s a cold day in July. Hell has frozen over. Pigs have flown.
And the Social Democrats have lost the election in Sweden.
When our email comes back to normal, I’m sure we’ll hear from LN, our Swedish correspondent, and have more interesting details for you.
In the meantime, here’s Bloomberg:
Sweden’s four-party opposition ousted Prime Minister Goeran Persson’s Social Democrats after 12 years in power as voters backed their plans to cut taxes to make it easier for companies to hire and sell off state assets, exit polls indicated.
The opposition, led by the Moderate Party’s Fredrik Reinfeldt, 41, took 49.7 percent of the vote, compared with 45.6 percent for the Social Democrats and their allies, the Greens and the Left Party, an exit poll for state broadcaster SVT showed. A poll from commercial broadcaster TV4 showed the opposition ahead by 48.6 percent to 46.7 percent.
The opposition laid the groundwork for victory two years ago when it formed the Alliance for Sweden, with common policies on taxes, the economy and welfare, last month issuing its first joint election manifesto. It also managed to convince voters it had the best recipe to end a decade of stagnation in the Swedish labor market.
“The four opposition parties allied into a formidable alternative,” said Anders Sannerstedt, a political-science professor at Lund University. “They have never been this united and in tune with each other — I have to call it historic.”
“The Social Democrats’ biggest blunder was to issue an election manifesto without anything to say about jobs issues,” said Jan Teorell, an associate professor at Lund University. “To contest an election with dental reform as the biggest issue shows that they are tired of governing.”
Color me surprised. And pleased.