Swedish Prime Minister likely to be ousted in confidence vote today

Swedish Prime Minister likely to be ousted in confidence vote today
Sweden's parliament reconvened on Monday. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven could be facing his last day on the job as parliament prepares for a confidence motion on Tuesday.

Lawmakers will vote on the position of prime minister at 9.30am, and although Löfven has chosen not to step down, it is widely expected that he will lose the post with both the centre-right Alliance parties and far-right Sweden Democrats having said they plan to vote against him.

That amounts to a total of 205 votes, and in order to stay in his position Löfven would need fewer than 175 'no' votes.

If Löfven does indeed lose the confidence motion, it will be up to speaker of parliament Andreas Norlén to ask another party leader to try to form a government. Even in that scenario however, Löfven looks set to lead a caretaker government during the weeks or months it is expected to find a new head of government.

Elections on September 9th left neither of Sweden's main blocs with an absolute majority, with just one seat separating the centre-left (Social Democrats and the Green Party) and the centre-right Alliance (Moderate Party, Centre Party, Christian Democrats, and Liberals). 

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The Sweden Democrats are the third largest group, and some right-wing MPs have suggested cooperation with the far-right party. The Centre Party and Liberals have said they would quit the Alliance if the Moderates and Christian Democrats were to negotiate a deal – for example on immigration – with the far-right in exchange for their support.

Another alternative would be for the Alliance to reach a compromise with the Social Democrats on big political issues, such as the autumn budget.

Tuesday morning's confidence motion follows an important day on Monday, which saw Norlén of the centre-right Moderates elected parliamentary speaker, apparently thanks to the support of the far-right. Although the vote was anonymous, the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats had indicated they would support the Moderate Party's candidate, likely hoping for support for their own candidates in exchange. 

Their candidate Björn Söder lost out on a deputy speaker post in parliament though, after losing votes for the roles of second and third deputy speaker. The position of second deputy speaker usually goes to a member of the third largest bloc or party, which would be the Sweden Democrats, and Söder was the incumbent in the role, but Left Party candidate Lotta Johnsson Fornarve was chosen as second deputy speaker and  the Centre Party's Kerstin Lundgren as third deputy speaker.

Want to know more? Find all The Local's Swedish election coverage HERE 

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