Sweden Democrats lose power in their flagship municipality

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
Sweden Democrats lose power in their flagship municipality
Social Democrat politician Birgit Birgersson Brorsson, who will now be mayor, and Moderate politicians Kith Mårtensson and Bengt-Åke Karlsson. Photo: Magnus Lejhall/TT

The far-right Sweden Democrats have unexpectedly lost control of the municipality in Sölvesborg, the hometown of party leader Jimmie Åkesson, after their Moderate allies switched sides.


Kith Mårtensson, the group leader of the local Moderates, said her party had decided to switch allegiance and instead form a coalition with the Social Democrats, Centre, and Sol parties, after a "severe worsening in the climate of dialogue" between their party and the Sweden Democrats. 

The far-right party, which first won control of the municipality after the 2018 election, managed to increase its share of the vote by nearly 10 percentage points in September, giving the party a total 39 percent of the vote. 

However, Mårtensson said that the far-right party's success had made them impossible to deal with in negotiations. 


"Unfortunately, after their election success, the Sweden Democrats' top leaders lost all humility and cut away all the Moderates' chance of having any influence at all. We didn't see this as a coalition, but more like Sweden Democrat rule with our support." 

Louise Erixon, who has served as the town's Sweden Democrat mayor since 2018 and who is Åkesson's ex-partner and the mother of his children, said she was "totally flabbergasted" by the news, which she said had "taken her by surprise". 

She said it was "a betrayal of voters", and that the Moderates' only motive was to protect the jobs and salaries of their councillors, which the Sweden Democrats had wanted to reduce to reflect the Moderates' reduced share of the vote. 


"The only things they've cared about have been the well-paid posts and their personal incomes," she said of the post-election talks. 

After the decision to go into coalition with the Social Democrats, Moderates in the municipality have complained of receiving a deluge of threats online, by mail, and on the telephone. 

"The weekend has been horrific," Mårtensson told SVT. "People are ringing my private number and screaming that I should "burn in hell". 

Jörgen Martinsson, another Moderate local politician said there had been a "hail storm of hate" against Moderate politicians over the weekend. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also