Left-wing Swedish Social Democrats continues to lose dominance
Sweden’s ruling socialist party, the Swedish Social Democrats, saw their worst EU election result in history while the country’s populist party emerged as the biggest gainer.
Although the Swedish Social Democratic Party won overall in the European Parliament vote, the left-wing government continued their downward trend.
National broadcaster SVT’s exit polls originally suggested that the ruling Social Democrats, led by current Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, would finish with around 25.1 percent of the votes.
When the results were tallied, however, Löfven’s party was reduced to 23.6 percent.
PM Löfven downplayed the result by focusing on the overall win.
The Swedish leader praised the Social Democrats’ leading European candidate Helene Fritzon and other party members saying: “There is no party that can do what the Social Democratic Labour Party does in the election movement, no one even comes close.”
He did concede that the result was worse than party hoped for, however, saying: “It is clear that we had wanted a better election result, I can say that straight away.”
According to Breitbart, on election day, the Social Democrats sent out a mass text message to 565,384 members of the public urging them to vote saying to vote for “security, jobs, and equality — against those who threaten the rights of women and workers!”
Not everyone was enthusiastic about the unsolicited text message, according to Expressen, which claimed one voter had said: “I was upset. I wanted to reply to the text but I could not. It feels wrong that they may have gotten hold of my number and that I can’t reach them to be able to get back the data they have on me.”
Others questioned whether or not the text message had even been legal, including EU parliamentary Max Andersson who commented on social media that he had not given his consent.
The all-time low election result comes only months after the Social Democrats scored another historic low in the country’s last national election in 2018.
While the Social Democrats saw a decline in their vote, the populist Sweden Democrats (SD) saw the opposite, nearly doubling their European Parliament vote from 2014, finishing at 15.4 percent and saw the most gains of any Swedish party.
According to The Local, the country’s right-wing populist party, Sweden Democrats, has emerged as the biggest gainer in the European elections despite a campaign that saw it eject one of its two MEPs from the party after she accused the other of sexual harassment.
“I don’t think that played nearly as big a role as many probably think,” party leader Jimmie Åkesson told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper after the scale of the party’s gains become clear.
“I have noticed as I travel around the country that very few people mention this case.
“It’s a big thing in the media but not among voters.”
With 94 percent of voting districts counted, the anti-immigrant party was on 15.4 percent of the vote, 5.7 points up on the 9.8 percent it won in 2014, and enough to bring it one more MEP.
However the party failed to become Sweden’s second biggest party in the European Parliament, as polls suggested in the run up to the vote, with a DN/Ipsos poll predicting earlier in the week that the party would win 16.9 percent of the vote.
The final result was also less than the 16.9 percent the party received in official exit polls published by Swedish state broadcaster SVT on Sunday evening, and less than the 17.53 percent scored in the September national election.
The party in February dropped its call for a referendum on Sweden’s membership of the European Union, joining other populist parties in a call to change the union from within.
“Our voters do not like the EU and do not like to vote in these elections, but we got a good result anyway,” Åkesson told DN.
“I am extremely pleased with that.”