Wallström attracts strong support

Despite repeated claims that she is not interested, EU Commissioner Margot Wallström is viewed by many as Carin Jämtin’s main contender for the Social Democratic top job.

The newspaper Aftonbladet yesterday lent its considerable weight to Jämtin, the former minister for development assistance, in her unofficial candidacy to be leader of Sweden’s largest political party.

But today it emerged that several influential groups within the Social Democrats would prefer to see Margot Wallström succeed outgoing party leader Göran Persson.

Wallström is currently EU Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication and would be a popular choice for many. But she has said that she is happy in Brusssels and does not want the job of party leader.

The Social Democrats’ student organisation has not yet made a formal decision as to who it plans to nominate.

“But it is certainly the case that we would most like to see Margot Wallström as next party leader,” said Magdalena Streijffert, MP and chairwoman of the student organisation.

The Social Democrats’ women’s organisation has pushed hard for a female leader. And while the group has not gone public with a name, the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet has learned that it is also set to propose Wallström for the post.

The same newspaper found that Wallström is favoured by a third group, the Christian Social Democrats. The group will discuss the issue further at a board meeting on Saturday.

The party’s youth wing, SSU, also want to see a women steer the party towards the 2010 election but has not given a name.

A survey carried out yesterday by TV4 showed that all of the country’s social democratic newspapers are urging the party to opt for a woman. But they are split down the middle as to whether Jämtin or Wallström should get the nod.