With three weeks left before general elections in Sweden, conservative Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, and the alliance of centre-right parties are heading towards a heavy defeat, according to the latest polls.
A poll published on Saturday by the broadcaster SVT shows that the three opposition parties, the Social Democrats, the Environment Party and the Left Party have backing from 46.2% of voters ahead of the elections on 14 September. Meanwhile, Reinfeldt's party, the Moderates, are set to win 23.4% of the votes, but together with the rest of the government and supporting parties, this alliance will only win 37.3% of the votes.
This means that the Social Democrats' leader, 57-year-old Stefan Löfven, a former trade unionist who has been spearheading the labour party since 2012, could become Sweden's next prime minister. In the general elections campaign, Löfven has promised to tackle the unemployment rate, which is around 8% in Sweden, slightly lower than the EU average. However, the unemployment rate among youth, in some regions of the Scandinavian country, is above 25%.
Higher taxes, a more liberal immigration policy and how to improve Sweden's educational system are other topic which have been on the agenda so far during the election campaign.
However, Swedish voters are actually not unhappy with Reinfeldt's government, which has been in power since 2006. According to a poll published today (25 August) by Sweden's Radio, 48% say the government has done a good job, with 45% even saying that a new government won't be able to do a better job.
While the question of Sweden's role in the EU until now has been left out of the debate for the most part, Reinfeldt, together with Democracy and EU Affairs Minister Birgitta Ohlsson, wrote an opinion piece in the business magazine Dagens Industri, calling for more immigration to the EU, improvement of the digital single market, and closing the gender gaps in labour markets.
- 14 Sept.: General elections in Sweden