Sweden faces new political landscape
September 9, 2018 -- The far-right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD) could become the second-biggest party in September’s parliamentary elections, threatening the two traditional party blocs in the government.
The centre-left red-green bloc and centre-right Alliance have each enjoyed 37-40 per cent support in opinion polls -- far from a majority of their own. Now, the SDs are on 19 per cent in polls and could gain as many as 70 MPs in the 349-seat Riksdag.
The isolation of the SDs has been a deliberate policy of the mainstream parties. When the current centre-left Swedish government called in all parliamentary parties to discuss immigration in 2015 — at the peak of the migration crisis when Sweden received 163,000 asylum seekers — it pointedly failed to invite the SDs.
So far the SDs have fought September’s elections on immigration, integration, crime and climate change, after a summer of forest fires in the northern reaches. SD proposals include restricting family reunification for immigrants, speeding up deportations, improving care for the elderly, and fighting criminal gangs.