Sweden’s embattled Prime Minister, who led his left-wing coalition to a historically poor result in this month’s national elections, has lost a confidence vote, meaning he will have to step down as the national leader.
Social Democrats party leader Stefan Löfven has been Sweden’s Prime Minister since 2014 and will continue in the post as the nation’s interim Prime Minister until a new governing coalition can be formed. 204 MPs voted against Löfven’s leadership in the Riksdag, while 142 supported him continuing.
Despite his defeat, Löfven said he wanted to continue as Prime Minister and said he saw good opportunities on the horizon to do so, reports Sweden’s Expressen.
Sweden Election Continues the Rapid Decline of Social Democrat Politics in Europe https://t.co/XlxlvbcO1A
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 13, 2018
The vote was triggered by the Moderate party after September’s national election failed to return a viable coalition, with both the left wing grouping led by Mr Löfven’s Social Democrats gaining 144 seats and the centre-right coalition led by the Moderates taking 143.
The populist, anti-mass migration Sweden Democrats are in a position to be kingmakers, but both potential coalition groups have ruled out working with the party, which they accuse of being too extreme to be allowed near power.
The Social Democrat party has won every single Swedish general election since 1914, when it displaced the conservative Moderate party, meaning a single party either alone or in coalition has ruled the Swedish state non-stop for over a century. If the centre-right coalition does embrace the populist Sweden Democrats to avoid fighting another election, the new government would be a historic one, and represent a significant change in direction for Sweden.
‘A Total Failure’: Sweden Has Europe’s Worst Border Control, Says EU Report ‘Hushed Up’ for Election https://t.co/XRPV9uMtoJ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 18, 2018
Although the Sweden Democrat’s anti-mass migration views are highly cited by establishment parties as a reason for refusing cooperation in the Swedish parliament, it is concerns over that very issue which are widely perceived to have pushed Löfven’s left-wing party to record its worst national result this month since March 1914.
The Europe Migrant Crisis began to bite shortly after Sweden’s previous election, and rather than protecting Sweden’s external borders, Löfven elected to follow German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s lead in welcoming large numbers of migrants to the nation. Within the first year of arrivals, Sweden had already welcomed more migrant crisis arrivals than any other nation in Europe, per capita.
The 2018 Eurobarometer poll laid bare the impact this sudden upheaval has had on Swedish society when it showed just 24 percent of Swedes thought the integration of new arrivals was going well, while 73 percent said it was going badly. In separate polling from last month, 73 percent of Swedes were then shown to believe their nation was going in the “wrong direction”, well above the worldwide average for home concern.
Sweden Election: Populists Win Their Biggest Ever Vote Share, Ruling Leftists Have Worst Result in 100 Years https://t.co/FWPk0S0Aix
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 10, 2018
Despite the perceived link between his hardened views on open borders and his decline in popularity, Löfven last week nevertheless doubled down on the topic, demanding ahead of the European Union Salzburg summit that mass migration must be forced upon reluctant nations. The Swedish journalist questioning the Prime Minister on the subject reported he became visibly angry when discussing the subject.