The performance of the Sweden Democrats in today’s election exceeded all expectation, and may even constitute an earthquake in Swedish politics. Henrik Ræder Clausen watched this evening’s results on Danish and Swedish television, and compiled the following report for Gates of Vienna.
Election results after 83% of the vote had been counted
(See the bottom of this post for a key to the parties)
A Swedish political earthquake
by Henrik Ræder Clausen
It was expected that the immigration-critical party Sverigedemokraterna (“The Sweden Democrats”, SD) would do well in today’s Swedish elections. Now that the results are in, SD won 13% of the vote (48 seats in the Swedish parliament Riksdagen), up from 5.7% (20 seats). They beat all expectations, severely shaking up the Swedish political and media establishment. The party is now the third largest in Sweden, twice as large as the fourth largest (the environmentalist party Miljøpartiet, 24 seats).
During the election, much effort had been put into denigrating and demonizing Sverigedemokraterna. This includes the refusal to talk to them at debate meetings, a media refusal to run their paid advertisements, and the issuance of a warning that Sweden risks a descent to the “State of Denmark” — that is, discussing the harmful effects of immigration. In the last days before the election, the media and politicians dictated to the voters: “Don’t vote for Sverigedemokraterna!” For what the establishment truly feared was to break the Swedish silence on the key topics: Islam and immigration.
Apparently, this attitude has caused a significant Streisand Effect in the elections. Danish media, just across the strait of Øresund, has picked up on the decline of Swedish democracy. In particular, Jyllands-Posten has carried crass opinion pieces and editorials about the collapse of due democratic process in Sweden, and the famous Swedish welfare going down in flames. But the fresh results seem to challenge the notion of that decline.
It’s not that the establishment isn’t trying. The hard left Vänsterpartiet was shouting anti-racist slogans at their election party (again focusing more on SD than on their own political ideas), and the veteran Social Democrat Mona Sahlin stressed the most important election result: “87% did not vote for SD”. Efforts are underway to form a Swedish government (most likely under the Socialists, with Mona Sahlin as prime minister) void of SD influence — that is the stated priority of the political establishment — but due to the fact that the two ‘left’- and ‘right’-wing blocks will both come in well under 50% in the new parliament, that will be difficult.
Not to mention dealing with even stronger Streisand Effects.
Looking forward, one may expect the political correct establishment to renounce any form of cooperation with SD. Then, the words ‘Immigration’ and ‘Integration’ are being used over and again to explain (away) the election results, it will become hard to erase those from the political agenda. Stunning crime rates and the decay of the welfare system are other topics are also mentioned, and when the established political parties routinely swear off the SD influence, one can expect them to discreetly pick some of up them anyway, in order to stall the progress of SD, and probably even use the 48 SD votes in parliament for some political deals somewhat down the road.
- Islamists have been distributing anti-democratic flyers, as could be expected.
- Note also Feministiskt initiativ, the only explicitly feminist party I ever heard of, is below the electoral limit at 3.1%.
- Alliansen, “The Alliance”, the blend of right-wing parties that formed a government together in the last period, also aimed at keeping SD out of influence.
- Voter turnout is estimated at 86%, an increase over the previous election.
- Vänsterpartiet was shouting “No Racists in our Streets!” at their election party when they saw the SD results. That’s an Antifa slogan.
- The Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven promises Keynes-style economic policies. He gets his most powerful applause when he stresses “No working with SD!”. Everything else seems less important. Stopping Sverigedemokraterna is the top political priority.
A key to the parties shown in the election results:
|FI||Feministiskt initiativ||Feminist Initiative|
|FP||Folkpartiet||People’s Party (Center Right, Liberal)|
|MP||Miljöpartiet||Environment Party (Greens)|
|V||Vänsterpartiet||Left Party (Hard Left)