Alliance gains across Sweden

The right-center Alliance had a successful night on Sunday. Not only did it knock out the Social Democrats from Parliament, the group of four parties managed to take control over several municipalities around the country.

The Alliance — formed by the Moderate Party, the Liberal Party, the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats — garnered majorities in an additional 21 municipalities. The left bloc lost the majority in 47 municipalities.

This means the Alliance has majorities in more than half of the country’s municipalities, controlling now 119 of them. Even Sweden’s capital, Stockholm went to the Moderates Sunday.

Several municipalities also remain split, without either side having a mandate. After Sunday’s vote, 68 municipalities are undecided, up from 42 during the last mandate period.

Göran Johansson, Social Democrat’s front figure in Gothenburg, was able to guide his party into another four years of control in Sweden’s second city after a campaign in which he openly criticized the Party’s leader, Prime Minister Göran Persson.

The Party gained almost 4 percent in Gothenburg, enough to fight off the Alliance. He said the future of the Social Democrats depends on reform of the left bloc.

“We have changed the city and made it modern,” he said, according to Aftonbladet. “Those from Gothenburg have felt that their city has moved forward and developed. But we still have a problem with unemployment.”

Moderates gained mandates in many areas around Sweden.

In Gotland, Växjö, and several northern, inland municipalities went from red to blue. Northern areas in Sweden, parts of the country with weaker economies, have historically been solid Social Democrat turf.

The gain in the north is due in part to a growth in the Moderate Party and Center Party, but also to a drop in the Left Party and Social Democrats compared to 2002.

Moderates made significant gains in Skåne in almost all of the municipalities. Even in Uppsala and Västerås tides changes and Moderates captured strong growth.

Although, the Social Democrats also held onto Sweden’s most southern large city, Malmö.

Social Democrats there had one of the poorest elections in history, with only 24 mandates in the municipality. Still party leader Ilmar Reepalu is happy with the win.

“I don’t think the Swedish Democrats (a party that runs mainly on being anti-immigrant and gained stronger support in Skåne yesterday) will begin to affect Malmö’s policies in the long run,” he said, adding that he was not sure why his party lost so many seats in the area.