• Sweden's news in English
Elections 2014
Five possible election outcomes

Five possible election outcomes

Maddy Savage · 11 Sep 2014, 12:05

Published: 11 Sep 2014 12:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Sep 2014 12:05 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Sweden has eight main political parties, so it is very rare for one party to win an election and form a majority government.

Usually the party with the largest proportion of the vote seeks to form a coalition government with other groups that share some of its values.

The current ruling government - known as the Alliance - is made up of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Christian Democrats and the Liberal Party. 

Sweden elections: who's who?

Polls suggest that support for the Moderates has dropped and the Alliance's total share of the vote is now smaller than the combined share of its main rivals - the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left Party. But the gap between the two blocs has narrowed in recent days.

With the help of political commentator Dr Stig-Björn Ljunggren, we've put together a list of what could happen next:

1. The Social Democrats form a Red-Green coalition

If the centre-left parties secure a greater share of the vote than the Alliance, and Fredrik Reinfeldt decides to resign as prime minister, Stefan Löfven would seek to take over as Sweden's next Prime Minister and form a coalition government. Although the Social Democrats haven't formally agreed to a Red-Green coalition, Löfven has made it clear the Green Party is his preferred partner, in preference to the Left Party.

The Social Democrats would seek to raise taxes in order to increase benefits and spend more money on public healthcare and education in Sweden. The Green party would also want to influence policies, for example by pushing Sweden's industries to become more environmentally friendly. The Left Party would offer indirect support on many policies. Most people living in Sweden wouldn't notice any dramatic changes straight away.

Stefan Löfven (left) and the Green Party's Åsa Romson (right). Photo: TT

2. The Social Democrats form a Red-Red-Green coalition, with support from the Left Party as well as the Greens

If the Social Democrats and the Greens don't secure a large enough combined share of the vote, they are expected to team up with Left Party to form a formal three-group coalition. The Left Party would expect concessions such as limiting the privatization of schools and hospitals, more radical increases to benefits and stricter regulation of the labour market to make sure that foreign workers have the same rights as Swedes. People living in Sweden would expect higher taxes.

The Greens and Social Democrats could work with The Left Party's Jonas Sjöstedt (right). Photo: TT

3. The Alliance remains in government with indirect support from the nationalist Sweden Democrats

Fredrik Reinfeldt could stay Prime Minister if the Alliance got enough votes to remain the largest political bloc. But this would probably be the result of a very narrow victory, so the Alliance would need support from the nationalist Sweden Democrats in order to get its policies through parliament.

In fact, this scenario wouldn't differ much from the way the Alliance has governed for the past four years - since 2010 they have been in a minority, and the Sweden Democrats have backed them on most key issues including tax cuts and boosting Sweden's defence budget.

However, on migration policy Reinfeldt has previously sought to isolate the Sweden Democrats by agreeing a deal with the pro-immigration Greens. 

The government would remain focused on boosting business in Sweden and allowing private companies to play a role in schools and hospitals. But Fredrik Reinfeldt might make a fresh start by reshuffling his cabinet or creating new government departments

Fredrik Reinfeldt (left) and Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson (right). Photo: TT

 4. The Social Democrats team up with one or more of the current Alliance parties

Story continues below…

The Green Party might not agree to a coalition with the Social Democrats, especially if it includes the ex-communist Left Party, which the Greens regard as having radical views in some areas. In this scenario, the Social Democrats would seek an alternative coalition partner or two. We could see Stefan Löfven negotiating with the Centre Party, which is focused on improving infrastructure and jobs in rural areas, or the Liberal Party which typically attracts middle-class voters and has put education at the helm of its campaign.

The Christian Democrats, Liberal Party and Centre Party could join a red-led coalition. Photo: TT

5. The Moderates form a coalition with the Social Democrats

This is the least likely scenario, comparable to Angela Merkel's fairly successful 'Grand Coalition' with Social Democrats in Germany. But if there was a sudden national crisis, the country's two biggest parties might seek to work together, despite their opposing ideologies. For example if Russia started invading Sweden's Baltic neighbours or the economy crashed unexpectedly, Sweden would be focused on dealing with these issues ahead of debates on welfare or unemployment. The Social Democrats have previously worked with the Moderates during times of crisis such as World War Two.

Could Stefan Löfven (left) work with Fredrik Reinfeldt (right)? Photo: TT

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maddy Savage (maddy.savage@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Swedish terror suspect ‘planned airport attack’
Swedish terror suspect Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Swedish national Osama Krayem, linked to the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 and in Brussels on March 22, is now suspected of having plotted to attack also the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available