• Sweden edition
 
SOCIAL DEMOCRATS IN TURMOIL
Social Democrats blame taxes for election loss

Social Democrats blame taxes for election loss

Published: 03 Dec 2010 14:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Dec 2010 14:41 GMT+01:00

The Social Democrats likely lost the election because of their tax policy proposals, an internal report from the party’s crisis commission has concluded.

The report, which was presented to the Social Democrats’ governing board on Friday, points to proposals about taxes as a decisive mistake in the party’s bid to regain power.

Outgoing party leader Mona Sahlin is considering holding a keynote speech on Saturday during a meeting of senior Social Democrats tasked with drawing up the nominating committee ahead of the party’s extra congress, currently expected to take place in late February or early March.

“There I will take up what I think we need to do in the future, what strengths we have and where I believe we have failed,” Sahlin told the TT news agency.

Morgan Johansson, chair for a group within the party’s crisis commission tasked with carrying out a fact-based analysis of the election results, indicated that Social Democratic proposals regarding property and petrol taxes were a couple of decisive mistakes in the 2010 election.

“We had an advantage in the polls of nearly 5 percent in May and then we lost it. It can’t be explained in any other way than by the budget proposal we put forward then,” Johansson said when he came to the meeting of the Social Democrats’ governing board to present the commission’s findings.

“The property tax and petrol tax were two controversial proposals which affected many people and which contributed to why we lost so much support. They were a couple of miscalculations,” he said.

The Social Democrats’ proposal to reintroduce the wealth tax, on the other hand, likely didn’t play much of a role, according to Johansson.

“We don’t think it was very significant. Those who pay it don’t vote for the Social Democrats anyway,” he said.

The Social Democrats could have regained momentum when the party presented its election manifesto, he continued.

“But it was too thin,” said Johansson.

“In the election manifesto, there were only two new things.”

One was a 6 billion kronor ($868 million) reduction of value added tax for restaurants, which failed to win over voters because the centre-right parties had a similar proposal.

The other new item was a few hundred kronor reduction in the maximum fee that municipalities can charge parents who use publicly financed childcare, which Johansson claimed wasn’t enough to swing voter opinion.

“It would have been better to use the space we had for reforms in a different way,” he said.

The commission also found that the Social Democrats suffered a drop in support when they presented their Red-Green coalition, but it wasn’t enough to cost the party the election.

The head of the Social Democratic caucus in the Riksdag, Sven-Erik Österberg, has also been named as a possible successor to Sahlin, but he avoided comment on the speculations when asked on Friday about the prospect of leading the party, instead focusing on the process of electing new leadership.

“We have clear bylaws which indicate that people are elected every four years. We have said that the nominating committee can put all the seats up for renewal and initiate discussions with people who currently hold them. That’s all we can do. We can’t take a collective decision that everyone should relinquish their seats. It’s up to each individual,” he told TT.

Stefan Löfven, the head of the IF-Metall union, had also been tipped to possibly take over as the Social Democrats’ party leader, but he said on Friday he has no plans to stand as a candidate.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:56 December 3, 2010 by asian123
not the taxes. but how you people are misusing those taxes collected.
19:15 December 3, 2010 by kenny8076
exactly! Doesnt matter though, thats obviously their agenda so even if they never talked about it then won office they would have done it....... thats how the criminal system....oooopps i mean governments work!! Say whatever needed to get in..... then hold on for 4 years!!
21:59 December 3, 2010 by eZee.se
"Say whatever needed to get in..... then hold on for 4 years!! "

Promises... you forgot "promises"! Say whatever is needed to get in AND make plenty of (false) promises!

I don't blame SD for the above anyway, (mind you I didnt vote for them) because all the major parties have the same recipe.
22:18 December 3, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
I can assure you, it wasn't taxes.

Clueless....
02:11 December 4, 2010 by jackx123
they need to renew the party BIG time both by person and politics. unfortunately i cannot see any successor in the ranks, neither can see a new "punchline". it's always been the same - higher taxes and take care of the "little people" as a famous swedish poet once said.
12:22 December 4, 2010 by Alf Garnett
Just goes to show they have NO idea whatsoever
Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Advertisement:
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

719
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com