After last night's polling results in Sweden, the Far-Right Swedish Democrats party in Sweden have now become the second largest party, having lost to the centre-Left Social Democrats party that have been in power since 1917. As of Sunday, the Swedish Democrats gained 73 seats and Social Democrats 108.
Magdalena Andersson the leader of the Social Democrats, campaigned once again on Sweden’s ideology of cradle to grave welfarism, in a hope that she could bring together both sides of the Centre and Left wings of her party, mirroring the struggles of her sister parties across Europe.
The rise of the Far-Right party, the Swedish Democrats have their roots in Neo-Nazi ideology that once gained momentum in the 1990’s and as such, have consistently struggled to shake off allegations of extremism and nationalism.
Many argue that concerns around crime, unemployment and pandemic fatigue may have driven some support towards the Far-Right in Sweden, yet it still remains speculative.
The Swedish Democrats have increased its vote share in every single election and now places them as the strongest political party on the Right. Jimmie Akesson leader of the Swedish Democrats consistently advocates and recites Far-Right ideology and talking points claiming; Sweden’s welfare state was being abused by Muslims, crime was due to an influx of immigrants and once referenced the importance of the ‘inherited essence’ considered to be a belief in race science.
Despite this, Akesson has tried to rid the Swedish Democrats of their openly bigoted ideology, which seems to have led to some victory.
The Nordic country for decades has been governed under a social democratic ideology that believes in a robust welfare state for its citizens. The prospect of a Hard-Right political party gaining momentum and possibly power in Sweden marks a totemic shift for the once considered both economically and socially Liberal country.
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