the far right is emerging as the second largest political force in the country

the far right is emerging as the second largest political force in the country

the far right is emerging as the second largest political force in the country

Swedish Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson at the party election night in Nacka near Stockholm on the evening of September 11, 2022.

On the stage of the Elite Hotel Marina Tower, in Nacka, on the outskirts of Stockholm, Jimmie Akesson, the leader of the Democrats of Sweden (SD) rejoices: it is just past midnight, Monday 12 September, and his party looks like the big winner of the elections in Sweden. “When we first entered parliament 12 years ago, we had 5.7% of the vote. Today we are at 20.7%. It shows how far we’ve come, from a little party everyone laughed about, to becoming Sweden’s second biggest team. “

This achievement is a consecration for Jimmie Akesson, 43 years old. When he took over the leadership of the far-right formation in 2005, with three of his friends, all students in Lund, southern Sweden, and today his closest advisors, he had two goals: to normalize the nationalist party, founded by former fascists in 1988, and make it one of the main political parties in the country. Mission accomplished: if their result were to hold up, the SD should be able to exert considerable influence on the next legislature.

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Several kilometers away, at the Waterfront Stockholm convention center, social democratic activists have their eyes fixed on the huge screens broadcasting the speech of the far-right leader live. Disappointment can be read in all eyes, mixed with terror. At the beginning of the evening, however, they wanted to believe it: all the exit polls, then the first estimates, gave the center-left and the Greens the advantage.

And then, at around 11pm, when the count was completed in half of the approximately 6,500 constituencies, the conservative liberal right and the far right took the lead, with mandates first, then three, at 176 versus 173 for the center left. left and Greens (49.7% against 48.8%). At the headquarters of the conservatives, in a large hotel near the station, the militants do not dare to believe it. They expect another change, which will not happen.

Four years of unprecedented political instability

No candidate, however, dares to claim victory. Because after four years of unprecedented political instability in the Scandinavian kingdom, the scenario everyone feared has just happened. The scores are too tight to be able to announce a definitive result. We will have to wait for the counting of the votes of the Swedes abroad, which will not be completed until Wednesday.

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