The Sweden Democrats increased their share of the vote from 12.9% to 19.8%. They were were expected to become the largest party in Sweden, but fell well short of that and came in third place:
“STOCKHOLM — Sweden looked set for a period of political confusion after election results on Sunday put a center-right bloc and the governing center-left coalition neck and neck, while a far-right, anti-immigration party came in third — winning a higher percentage of the vote than ever before, but achieving less of a breakthrough than polls had suggested.
With more than 99 percent of ballots counted, the national election commission reported that the governing center-left Social Democrats had 28.4 percent of the vote, making it the largest single vote-getter, but handing the party its worst showing in decades.
The center-right Moderate party was next at 19.8 percent, while the far-right Sweden Democrats were running third, with 17.6 percent, up from 12.9 percent in 2014 but a less successful showing than many Swedes had feared. Some polls had predicted that the Sweden Democrats would come in second, with more than 20 percent of the vote.
The red-green bloc of center-left, leftist and environmental parties, led by the Social Democrats, had 40.6 percent of the vote. The center-right alliance, led by the Moderates, was just behind with 40.3 percent. The results mean neither bloc can command a majority in Parliament, and both have rejected the idea of any deal with the Sweden Democrats.”
This has been the story of the “Far Right” in Europe for years now: steadily rising, but falling short of seizing power as the mainstream parties maintain a cordon sanitaire.
“The results here come amid a string of electoral losses for social democratic parties across Europe. Aided by the rise of far-right populists, the traditional center-left has, in just the last year, been decimated at the polls in a number of countries, including Germany, Austria, and Italy. Out of 28 European Union countries, just six—Sweden, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal—are still led by the center-left (though others, including Germany, have center-left parties as junior governing partners). There’s a sense that social democracy, once a movement with clearly defined aims, has lost its way in the post-2008 world.
Of course: The Social Democrats still remain by far the largest party after Sunday’s elections. The 28.4 percent they won would have been a dream for, say, Germany’s Social Democrats (which won 20.5 percent last September and has since fallen even further) or Italy’s Democratic Party (which fell out of government after dropping to 23 percent in March’s elections). But given the Swedish party’s history—in some elections, they’ve taken over 50 percent of the vote—they also had comparatively further to fall.
Here in social democracy’s heartland, the leaders of the Social Democrats seem well aware that they set the tone for similar parties across Europe. They’re thinking about how to change the direction of the movement, and considering the kind of vision the party should present going forward. Changes below the surface have also threatened to upend the center-left’s traditional bases of support: union members, once a key demographic for the Social Democrats, have in recent election cycles begun defecting to the far right. Sweden Democrats politicians say this is because the Social Democrats have lost credibility on the issues most important to voters. “The voters don’t trust these parties, and I understand. … They’re untrustable,” Markus Wiechel, a Sweden Democrats MP and the party’s foreign-policy spokesman, told me in the Swedish parliament a few days before the vote. “They could say one thing one day and then something completely different the next day …”
The macro trend is that the Left has been taking a beating in Europe. Poland and Hungary level wokeness has crept into Italy and is steadily pushing further west.
Note: I’m not sure I would call the Sweden Democrats a “Far Right” party. It is the best the Swedes can do though.