According to the latest annual Maktbarometern power ranking, the Sweden Democrats have risen four places since last year, making the party the fifth-biggest social media influencer in the country.
This puts them just behind the Instagram influencer Therése Lindgren, the YouTube pranksters JLC, and Jocke & Jonna, the YouTube power couple who were this year for the second-year running ranked the most powerful social media operation in Sweden.
“The starting position on social media is quite clear in the run-up to the election,” Emanuel Karlsten, the Mediaakademin’s chair, told TT.
“But it’s still a very limited part of the voters, two to three percent, and a little higher on Facebook at around 10 percent, who follow the election on social media and ‘like’ posts.”
The biggest political newcomer this year has been the Left Party’s new leader Nooshi Dadgostar, who came in from nowhere to take 127th place.
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This still leaves her far behind the Sweden Democrat’s Jimmie Åkesson, the most powerful politician in 11th place, the Christian Democrats’ Ebba Busch, who rose 30 places to take 32nd place, and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, who rose 33 places to take 47th place.
The Centre Party’s leader Annie Lööf climbed 37 places to take 73rd place, and Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson, who has obviously been putting in no small effort, leapt 101 places to take 86th place.
In the Twittersphere, Dadgostar’s arrival was even more pronounced, with the left-wing leader jumping 328 places to become tanked at 42 in terms of Twitter reach and engagement. .
Hanif Bali is now the top-ranked on Twitter after rising two places since 2020, while Dadgostar’s predecessor Jonas Sjöstedt still retained a strong position in fifth place.
Karlsten said that even if social media still did not reach most voters, it was still potentially significant in an election.
“The parties want to reach so-called ‘talkers’, people who can spread their message further, so social media can be pretty important. Parties can create their own propaganda machines and set the agenda.”
If Sweden’s national parliament was decided on the back of Social Media engagement, the Sweden Democrats would be comfortably the biggest party.
If it was based on Facebook engagement, the right-wing parties would have a clear majority.