Sweden facing political turmoil?

Sweden's Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has lost a vote of no confidence in which the conservatives, the Left Party and the hitherto isolated right-wing populist Sweden Democrats voted against him. The latter initiated the vote, taking advantage of a dispute over rent policy in which the Left Party, as a supporter of the Red-Green minority government, had insisted on more influence.

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Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Heading for a national conservative government

Dagens Nyheter voices concern:

“How will a snap election affect voter turnout? And who will voters blame for the fact that the politicians couldn't reach an agreement? These are questions that several parties will probably ask themselves, and in the worst case M [the conservative Moderate Party], KD [the Christian Democrats] and the SD will secure a majority in the new Riksdag. In that case there will be a great risk that Jimmie Åkesson [leader of the SD] will get his national conservative bloc - and Sweden will have a corresponding government.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

The fire wall has been torn down

The Sweden Democrats will no longer allow themselves to be sidelined, concurs Kai Strittmatter, Scandinavia correspondent for the Süddeutsche Zeitung:

“Their leader Jimmie Åkesson initiated the vote of no confidence, and he already sees himself as a winner. It wasn't long ago that the SD, who regularly express their contempt for the current democratic system, were viewed as the pariahs of Swedish politics: no one wanted to have anything to do with them. That's over now. The conservative camp has torn down the firewall between it and the far right. Such is the lure of power. Far from being taboo, support from the SD is now desirable. Perhaps this time it's already happening.”

Berlingske (DK) /

Sweden Democrats can no longer be marginalised

Berlingske doesn't share the Süddeutsche Zeitung's concerns:

“Fortunately, the conservative parties are no longer averse to cooperating with the Sweden Democrats. ... Stefan Löfven now has a week to form a new government or call snap elections. Either way: the time has come to treat the Sweden Democrats like a normal party within Swedish politics.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

No prospect of stability

Gazeta Wyborcza sees the country at an impasse:

“In order to avoid two elections within a very short period a majority is needed for an interim government. Löfven could once again be at the head of this government, which would then remain in office until 2022. The problem is that even a new election most likely won't produce a clear majority. Polls show that the result, as in 2018, would be two blocs without a majority, one on the right and one left of centre, surrounded by a galaxy of smaller parties with such contradictory goals that a lasting governing coalition with a clear political identity is impossible.”