“We need a government that has faith in the future,” said Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson as she addressed cheering crowds outside the Åhléns department store in central Stockholm.
Olofsson was surrounded by young party workers, all dressed in football shirts with “Maud” on the back. She was also attended by a very visible police presence, following a spate of attacks on Centre Party offices.
Referring to the Alliance’s plan to reduce benefits, Olofsson insisted that she “wants jobs instead”.
“Money doesn’t just fall from heaven. We need more people paying tax,” she said to applause.
Olofsson, regularly voted one of the most popular party leaders, turned on her no-nonsense Norrland charm to woo voters. She repeated the mantra that “the people who have most fun will win – and we’re having great fun.”
To underline the message, Olofsson held on to her microphone and sang along with a rendition of Charlotte Perelli’s Tusen och en Natt, which won the Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden as Take me to your Heaven. Olofsson will be hoping that the song’s winning ways will rub off on her party.