The Election Authority's administrative head Anna Nyqvist met parliamentary speaker Andreas Norlén on Thursday to discuss the practical details of a new election – if one goes ahead.
“It is my hope that we will soon have a new government in place, but if the parties do not act in a way that allows for a prime minister to be elected, it is important to me to be prepared to set a date for an extra election,” said speaker Norlén in a written statement.
Sweden's general election on September 9th left no bloc with an obvious majority – or even strong minority – in parliament and government negotiations have so far yielded little result.
The speaker has four attempts at putting forward a prime ministerial candidate to parliament and two of these have already failed – meaning two attempts remain.
Norlén has already named January 16th as the date when the next prime minister vote will be held and if that too is unsuccessful, a fourth vote will happen on January 23rd.
If parliament fails to elect a prime minister, Sweden will need to hold a snap election no more than three months after the fourth and final vote, according to election rules.
Swedish elections are always held on Sundays, so the latest date this could happen would be April 21st. However, this falls during the Easter holidays, so the Election Authority recommended to Norlén on Thursday to hold a potential snap election on April 7th.
Another reason not to wait the full three months is not to get it mixed up with the European Parliament Election on May 26th – postal voting for that election opens on April 11th.
The Election Authority estimates that a snap election would cost 346 million kronor – somewhat less than an ordinary vote which also includes local and regional elections.
Norlén is set to announce his new prime minister candidate on Monday.
To catch up with everything that has happened since the election, The Local's timeline offers a handy overview. And if you have any questions about the process, please log in to comment below.