All the headlines on the Swedish elections point to the fact that the far right have made a break through into Parliament. This is clearly news and marks how Sweden is part of the European wide trend to electing more far-right MPs.
We shouldn't get this out of proportion of course. The far right 9Swedish Democrats) increased their vote to 5.7% from 2.9%, which means they broke the 4% barrier and are now entitled to 20 MPs. Seeing as neither the left nor right block will touch them with a barge pole this worrying development does not actually put them any nearer power than they were before. Would that this was the case everywhere in Europe.
This wasn't the only story from the election though. The Greens now have a record 25 MPs having won 7.2% of the vote, which is something I feel contractually obliged to point out, and makes them the third largest party (from being the smallest party represented in parliament).
This was some achievement as they are part of the left block, which is declining in support with both the Social Democrats and Left Party losing ground. Election nerds might like to know that turnout was up at 82.1%, showing that high turnouts don't necessarily mean defeat for the smaller parties.
The Greens' best area was, you may not be surprised to hear, Stockholm with over 12% of the vote with other urban areas doing very well too. By contrast the far-right seems to have got their best results in rural areas, although I confess my knowledge of Swedish geography may not be as sharp as it might be.
The only party to increase their vote apart from the Greens and the far right were the Moderate Party, Sweden's equivalent of the Tories - but even so they are still only Sweden's second biggest party after the Social Democrats.
The electoral maths of it means that the right alliance have 172 MPs, the Red-Green block 157 MPs and the far-right 20 MPs, theoretically meaning they hold the balance of power, although we've yet to see how that pans out as they wont be forming a coalition with anyone.
Other interesting things of note: there is a Feminist Party which was formed in 2005 by a leading member of the Left Party and is seen as the largest of the 'others'. Sadly if you don't get above a certain level of the vote Swedish sites don't seem very keen on publicising your results. They got 2.2% in last year's European elections, but wont have received the same this time.
|Social Democratic Party||30.9%||-4.4%||113 MPs||-17|
|Moderate Party||30.0%||+3.9%||107 MPs||+10|
|Green Party||7.2%||+2.0%||25 MPs||+6|
|Liberal People's Party||7.1%||-0.4%||24 MPs||-4|
|Centre Party||6.6%||-1.3%||22 MPs||-7|
|Swedish Democrats||5.7%||+2.8%||20 MPs||+20|
|Christian Democrats||5.6%||-1.0%||19 MPs||-5|
|The Left Party of Sweden||5.6%||-0.3%||19 MPs||-3|