It’s nearly 24 hours since the polls closed in Sweden for the 2022 General Election. With almost all votes counted, it seems that the right of centre coalition, with the support of the far-right party the Sweden Democrats (SD), will have a parliamentary majority of one seat. The votes that haven’t yet been counted include votes from abroad; in other words, my vote.
It appears that pretty much all remaining votes will need to be in favour of the left of centre coalition for the parliamentary demographic to change. As this is extremely unlikely, I have spent today coming to terms with the prospect of a government change in Sweden: four years of right of centre and far-right rule, in one of the most liberal countries in the world.
The Sweden Democrats have known roots in the neo-Nazi movement of the 1990s. “The SD is currently by far the biggest party in the world with Nazi roots,” Tobias Hübinette, lecturer in intercultural studies at Karlstad University and a leading anti-racist, told The Guardian.
The SD gained votes from virtually all other parties, on the whole political spectrum, to become the second largest parliamentary party. People are clearly unhappy with the status quo, just like they are here in the UK, where the news concentrate on the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
I’m watching plenty of that coverage, because the ceremony around it is a welcome distraction; a lulling into thinking that everything is fine, that I will be warm and full and safe this winter. Perhaps that’s exactly what the modern monarchy is meant to do: make us think that this is the God-ordained way, that some people are rightly born into privilege, heritage, tax-freedom, and non-democratic power, and that this is fine.
It’s been an interesting week. New British Prime Minister that I didn’t vote for, a new British Head of State I didn’t vote for, and a new Swedish government I voted against.