LDid the concept of a Swedish model of Scandinavian democracy tempered to boredom survive? The outcome of the legislative elections, which took place there on 11 September, is apparently final. Of course, the ballot was very tight: only three seats separate the right-wing parliamentary coalition that won from the left, and the solidity of the new majority is already being questioned. It prevents. For the first time in the history of this country, power will be exercised by a bloc extended to the radical right, embodied by the party of the Democrats of Sweden, a formation born of an openly neo-Nazi party.
Over the course of twelve years, this fiercely anti-immigration party quadrupled its representation, from 5.7% to 20.6% of the vote. It thus became Sweden’s second largest political force. Far behind the Social Democratic Party of the outgoing premier (30.4%), Magdalena Andersson, who will therefore have remained in power for less than a year, but ahead of the main conservative party, which has mistaken for these elections the strategy of the sanitary cordon against that of the step. The latter was considered the only possible way, according to its leader, Ulf Kristersson, to gain power.
The results of this opportunistic calculation therefore raise questions about its relevance. By completing the integration of this far right into the Swedish political game, the Conservatives have powerfully aided its leader, Jimmie Akesson, in his demonization endeavor. Immigration and precariousness, his favorite themes, have thus dominated the legislative campaign to the detriment of other more fundamental ones such as the fight against climate change. Even the Social Democrats, who strengthened their positions towards migrants long before these elections, are not immune.
An example that is far from isolated
The electoral advantage that the Democrats of Sweden have gained from the renunciation of the moderates at this moment places them at the center of the new parliamentary coalition, without which Ulf Kristersson will not be able to govern. Even if they will not take part in the executive, they will certainly not hesitate to monetize their support at a high price, claiming important positions in Parliament, or putting all their weight on the government contract of the new team. The conservatives wanted to make it an auxiliary force, now they are obliged to do so.
The Swedish example of trivializing the most radical right is far from isolated, starting from this part of Europe. Finland and Denmark have in fact led the way, each time with a strong tightening of the screws on migration policy, including by social democratic governments.
In Italy, another coalition extended to other far-right formations, including Fratelli d’Italia, the last avatar of the Italian Social Movement, of fascist origin, will try on 25 September to seize power, for the benefit of the latter’s leader. Giorgia Meloni. He defends positions close to the Democrats of Sweden. The two parties also sit in the same group in the European Parliament, unlike the elected members of the French National Rally.
Significant differences continue to separate these families from the European populist right or the national conservative right, particularly over NATO and Russia, but their steady progress is invariably at the expense of conservative parties. Far from being the lifeline they imagine, the hand extended to the radical right carries with it, for them, an existential threat.