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Election outcomes – the lowdown

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Election outcomes – the lowdown
Leaders Ohly, Sahlin, Eriksson, Björklund, Reinfeldt, Olofsson and Hägglund
10:12 CEST+02:00
With four days to go before Swedes go to the polls in what promises to be an historic election for one of Europe's oldest democracies, The Local's Peter Vinthagen Simpson has had a look at the possible outcomes.

Absolute Alliance majority

If the Alliance coalition was to gain its own absolute majority of the votes there would be a clear winner and a centre-right government would be returned to power for the first time in almost 100 years.

  • Fredrik Reinfeldt would remain as prime minister.

  • As long as the four parties remained in agreement, stable government would ensue.

  • The Sweden Democrats, if they entered parliament, would have no influence on government policy.

Absolute Red-Green majority

If the Red-Green coalition was to gain their own absolute majority of the votes there would a clear winner, and the Social Democrats would resume their historically familiar role at the head of a Swedish government.

  • Mona Sahlin would be appointed as Sweden's first female prime minister.

  • As long as the three parties are able to reach agreement on a series of key outstanding issues, stable government would ensue.

  • The Sweden Democrats, if they entered parliament, would have no influence on government policy.

Alliance largest bloc, no majority

The Alliance coalition wins the greater number of votes but does not claim a majority of the seats in parliament. Would occur only if the Sweden Democrats, Feminist Initiative and/or Pirate Party won enough votes to claim parliamentary seats.

  • Fredrik Reinfeldt would remain as prime minister and would be given the task of trying to build a government – he has said that the Alliance would turn to the Green Party first.

  • The possibility of a majority government formed by the Moderates and Social Democrats has been raised recently, but is likely to be rejected by coalition partners.

  • The opposition parties could call a vote of no-confidence. A majority of the votes against a Reinfeldt minority government would be required for the government to fall.

  • A minority Reinfeldt government would have problems forcing through all of the hundreds of propositions that are typically presented during a mandate period.

  • The budget proposal would however be approved on the proviso that all other parties were unable to agree on an alternative.

  • The Sweden Democrats, if they entered parliament, could gain some influence over government propositions if they voted with the Red-Green opposition.

Red-Greens largest bloc, no majority

The Red-Green coalition wins the greater number of votes but does not claim a majority of the seats in parliament. Would occur only if the Sweden Democrats, Feminist Initiative and/or Pirate Party won enough votes to claim parliamentary seats.

  • Mona Sahlin, as leader of the biggest Red-Green party, would be tasked with trying to build a government – she has said that the Red-Greens would turn to Centre and the Liberal parties first.

  • The possibility of a majority government formed by the Moderates and Social Democrats has been raised recently, but is likely to be rejected by coalition partners.

  • The Alliance opposition parties could call a vote of no-confidence. A majority of the votes against a Reinfeldt minority government would be required for the government to fall.

  • A minority Sahlin government would have problems forcing through all of the hundreds of propositions that are typically presented during a mandate period.

  • The budget proposal would however be approved on the proviso that all other parties were unable to agree on an alternative.

  • The Sweden Democrats, if they entered parliament, could gain some influence over government propositions if they voted with the Alliance opposition.

New Election

If Fredrik Reinfeldt or Mona Sahlin decides in any of the above circumstances that for some reason they are unable to form a stable government, then a request for a new election can be submitted. In the first hand the speaker of the house would turn to the leader of the next largest party and give them the task of trying to form a government.

No non-aligned parties cross threshold

If none of the smaller non-aligned parties – Sweden Democrats, Feminist Initiative or Pirate Party – are able to gather more than the 4 percent vote threshold for parliamentary seats, then the coalition with the highest accumulated percentage of the popular vote will automatically claim a majority of the seats in parliament, in accordance with Sweden's proportional representation system.

Comment

With the Centre Party, Left Party and Christian Democrats all close to the four percent threshold for parliamentary seats, according to recent opinion polls, there is also the possibility that the coalitions would have a different appearance once the votes are counted.

While this would not add to the overall scenarios outlined above, it would affect them and create government instability, at least in the interim, and result in some unlikely bedfellows among the Swedish political parties.

Both the Moderates and Social Democrats have ruled out governing with the support of the Sweden Democrats (SD) but the situation could arise that the they, or their coalition partners would vote together in a vote of no-confidence or while in opposition.

How the days after the election will pan out if polling gets messy and mathematical is anyone's guess, but is it going to be interesting, and you would be wise to stay tuned to The Local's comprehensive coverage on election night.

To return to the election guide main page, click here.

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