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Sweden election process explained, Key dates

Sweden election process explained, Key dates

SWEDEN’S General Election is fast approaching with recent polls showing a surge in support for Swedish Democrats. We explains everything you need to know.

By – Georgina Laud

Anti-immigration supporters the Sweden Democrats have had an increase in support in recent weeks, as opinion polls place them third favourites to win the upcoming election.

Due to origins in Neo-nazi ideology, the Sweden Democrats have found popularity difficult.

However, should the elections follow recent trends in opinion polls, a new prime minister could be elected – replacing incumbent Stefan Löfven.

The increase in popularity of the Sweden Democrats formed following the 2008 financial crisis, the election of US president Donald Trump and Britain’s choice to leave the UK.

President Löfven’s party the Social Democrats have long been the favourites in Sweden, having been in power for over a decade.

When is the Swedish Election?

Voters will take to the polls in Sweden on September 9.

The Swedish parliament – known as the Riksdag – will have all 349 seats allocated to MPs voted in by the public.

Elections four years ago saw a huge win for left-wing politicians, as the Social Democrats, Green Party and Left Party together seized 154 seats. 

This resulted in Mr Löfven becoming Prime Minister following a coalition between the Social Democrat Party and the Green Party.

Current opinion polls point the Swedish Social Democratic Party to be holding a 25 percent lead, but the Moderate Party and Swedish Democrats aren’t far behind on 20 and 19 percent respectively.

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Sweden uses a system of proportional representation, meaning that the number of seats each party wins reflects the share of the votes they have received nationwide.

To enter the Riksdag and take part in national government, parties must have more than four percent of the vote, and in order to participate in local government, parties must achieve more than three percent of the vote.

There are 29 constituencies, and each has a set number of parliamentarians.

These are then divided through constituency results to ensure regional representation.

For a prime minister to be elected outright, their party must have gained over 50 percent.

This is rare, however, due to a large number of political parties in Sweden.

In the case where one party does not achieve over 50 percent, the party with the majority must try to form a coalition government with other parties.

This happened in the 2014 election, with the Social Democrat Party and the Green Party forming a coalition and Mr Löfven chosen to lead.

The election looks set to be a close call, with a narrow margin between two blocks; the Alliance and the Red-Green coalition.

The Alliance is formed by the Moderates, Centre Party, Liberals and Christian Democrats, and the Red-Green coalition by the Social Democrats and Green Party.

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Read more: From  2018/08/16

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