World goes nuts for ‘lonely’ Swedish PM pics

Sweden's prime minister has become the unexpected victim of a global meme, after a lonely-looking picture from parliament went viral with the help of creative Reddit users.

World goes nuts for 'lonely' Swedish PM pics
The photo of Sweden's prime minister looking lonely. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

The picture, snapped just over a year ago, shows Stefan Löfven seated on his own in parliament. In the other corner, the centre-right opposition leaders are huddled together, apparently laughing and talking.

The uncropped version of the original image. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Already iconic in Sweden, the infamous photo of the prime minister got a rebirth on Tuesday after it became the subject of a Photoshop battle between internet community Reddit users.

“Stefan Löfven is totally the new Sad Keanu,” stated Reddit's Twitter account, referring to a famous social media meme of a similarly lonely-looking actor Keanu Reeves from 2010.

A Photoshop battle is when a user submit a photo in a thread on Reddit, challenging other users to manipulate it – the more hilarious and inventive the better.

By Tuesday afternoon, the thread named 'Sweden's prime minister is sad and left out while other party leaders having fun during congress' had received almost 4,700 upvotes in the forum.

Sweden's government crisis of 2014 — during which the original photo was taken — saw Social Democrat leader Löfven calling (and later cancelling) a snap election after failing to get his budget passed by parliament when the far-right Sweden Democrats threw their support behind the opposition's proposal.