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article imageReinfeldt’s Alliance wins election, far-right gets in Parliament

By Igor I. Solar     Sep 19, 2010 in Politics
Stockholm - The center-right coalition of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has won the general election in Sweden without achieving absolute majority, while far-right Sweden Democrats managed to get over the threshold to obtain seats in Parliament.
According to recent exit poll estimates the center-right Alliance of conservative Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has achieved victory in the Swedish general elections with 48.2% of the vote. However, it is expected that the Alliance will not reach an absolute majority. According to the survey, released just minutes before the close of the polls, the Social Democratic Party has been the most voted, with 32.7 percent, ahead of the Moderate Party (conservative) with 27.2 percent. The far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) would obtain seats in Parliament getting between 4.1 and 4.6 percent of the vote, just over the threshold of 4 percent that allows the party to obtain official representation in Parliament.
Voting locations were open until 8:00 PM (local time) to elect the 349 members of the Riksdag, the unicameral Parliament. The leftist opposition Red-Green bloc, comprised by the Social Democratic Party, the Left Party and the Party of the Environment, would obtain 46.4 percent of the ballots, holding to the upward trend shown in recent polls that kept the distance of the Red-Greens behind the Alliance between three to seven percentage points.
The high percentage of participation and the last-minute preferences from the “undecided” were factors that helped the Red-Greens to stage a comeback, increasing their standing and avoiding disaster. Since 1932 the Social Democrats have ruled Sweden for 65 years, only losing the government in three periods from 1976 to 1982, 1991 to 1994 and from 2006 until now.
To Fredrik Reinfeldt, leader of the coalition of Conservatives, Liberals, Democrats and Centrists, this triumph means the first time that a head of a conservative government is re-elected in Sweden. The arrival to parliament of the Sweden Democrats, the extreme-right party, could bring a great deal of political instability to Swedish political affairs, although the two major forces, the Alliance and the Red-Green bloc, have reiterated that they will not, under any circumstances, enter into agreements with the far-right, willing to make compromises among themselves on specific points, in order to minimize the influence and control desired by the far-right.
The success of the Sweden Democrats, and party leader Jimmie Åkesson, is deemed largely based on anti-immigrant and anti-Islam rethoric which for decades most Swedes have considered unappropriate, but in recent years has obtained fairly large support:
"Swedish pensioners can't afford to fix their broken teeth or pay for the medicine that would bring them back to health," Åkesson has said, blaming the generous Swedish welfare system spending too much money on immigrants and Iraqi refugees.
"Today's multicultural Swedish power elite is completely blind to the dangers of Islam and Islamification," has been another of Åkesson's claims. The Sweden Democrats have called for massive restrictions on immigration.
More about Sweden, General election, Parliament, Far-right, Red-green bloc
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