Sweden's right-wing populists making headway

In the run-up to Sweden's parliamentary elections in September the red-green government is seeing its support plummet in the polls. The right-wing populist Sweden Democrats, meanwhile, are gaining ground, particularly in the north of the country. Politicians have neglected the needs of people living outside the big cities, Swedish commentators criticise.

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Upsala Nya Tidning (SE) /

Social Democrats paying for neglect

The Social Democrats in particular have taken too little notice of the concerns of people living outside urban areas, Upsala Nya Tidning comments:

“The development of the big cities created the image of a Sweden that is constantly moving forwards. In many other parts of the country, however, this is perceived as a reduction in social services and people are clinging to the Sweden Democrats as their last hope after the other parties - not least the Social Democrats - left the field to them. ... The Sweden Democrats becoming the strongest party is an entirely possible scenario. ... The Social Democrats have forgotten that Sweden is more than just Stockholm, and they will pay dearly for it. The question is what price Sweden will have to pay.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

Greetings from Trump

Aftonbladet sees similarities with the voter structure in the US:

“One sentence from Donald Trump's victory speech on the night of his election has become branded in our minds: 'The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.' We laughed at him. ... But the forgotten in Trump's rhetoric strongly remind us of the traditional social democratic voters [in Sweden]. ... They live far away from the glittering big cities with their liberal elites. ... Unfortunately it's a fact that large swathes of Sweden have been shunted aside - trains no longer run there, postal services no longer deliver letters there, the pharmacies have closed down. ... Naturally the capital is important, but eight out of ten Swedes don't live there.”