The “twisted situation” referred to in the post title is the result of our election yesterday.
As mentioned in a previous post A Game Not Over: For the last four years, Sweden has had a right-wing coalition government, led by the conservative Moderates and supported by the Liberals, the Christian Democrats, and the Center Party (which claims to be a green party, but there is an ‘even greener’ one among the opponents). Before this election, the other three parties in the parliament formed a left-wing coalition – or, as they prefer to call it, a Red-Green cooperation - led by the Social Democrats and supported by the Left Party and the Green Party.
Sort of back-stage, there have also been a few small parties hitherto too small to be included in the Riksdag/parliament. The biggest among those is the Sweden Democrats, which by all seven established parties is regarded as racist and xenophobic (‘fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign’).
What happened in the election yesterday was not only that the Sweden Democrats have now “entered the stage” (with 5,7% of the votes – the threshold is 4%); they will most likely also end up in a balance position in the parliament, since neither of the two opposing coalitions got proper majority of their own.
The result is still not final, but the conservative Moderates have been increasing their percentage while the Social Democrats have gone back, so that these two parties now each has about 30% of the votes. The rest of the parties all end up between 5,6 and 7,2%. The preliminary result is that the right-wing Alliance will have 172 seats in the parliament, the Red-Greens 157, and the “outsider” the Sweden Democrats 20 seats.
This means that the right-wing “blue” Alliance is still larger than the left-wing “red-green” opposition, but if the Sweden Democrats as well as the Red-Green coalition vote against them in the parliament, they won’t get their propositions through.
All parties on both sides have stated clearly that they do not under any circumstances intend to cooperate with the Sweden Democrats. But how to go from that promise to Reality… That is the tricky bit. Because the Green Party has also stated firmly that whatever the outcome of the election, they do not intend to switch sides afterwards and join the “blue” coalition.
There are still a number of votes not counted. We won’t have the final result until Wednesday. Media keep repeating now that just possibly the remaining votes might turn the balance to an actual majority for the “blue” alliance; but it does not seem very likely.
The same kind of situation with the Sweden Democrats applies to several municipal and city councils all over the country.
The photos are of a sculpture called Tornado. I have shown it before, I think. These pictures I took yesterday as I passed it on my way to give my vote. Looking for an illustration for my post today, it suddenly took on new dimensions of symbolism… The whirlwind, and the mix of colours… blue, red, green – and white, for the still “unwritten page” (what effect the new party will have)…