European Elections – A View from Sweden

Jens Johansson

Summary: The European election shows contradictory results, with the far-right increasing support in the centers and the growth of progressive parties in smaller and more peripheral countries — Editors

The far-right increased considerably in the biggest and most important European countries, Germany, Italy, and France. The far-right party Alternative für Deutschland became the second biggest party in Germany after the Christian Democrats. In Italy, neo-fascist Giorgia Meloni will continue as the country’s leader, and in France, racist Marine Le Pen’s party became France’s biggest party, gathering more than 30 % of the votes. This caused Macron to dissolve the National Assembly and call for a new general election in France in less than a month. Hence, it is not unlikely that in three weeks from now, Le Pen’s far-right party will be ruling in France.

Because these countries are so prominent in terms of population, their results affect the whole European parliament. Thus, the liberal/conservative party group and the far-right party group have grown. The Social Democratic party group and the Greens have hence lost many mandates.

However, although this is very bad and should disturb everyone on the Left, one should know that these trends don’t reflect what’s going on in the whole union. We expected to see Orban’s Fidesz and the Polish party Law & Justice (both Putin-friendly conservative parties) grow in Hungary and Poland. Instead, Hungarians and Poles showed great dissatisfaction with their conservative leaders and voted for social-liberal European-friendly representatives. Orban’s Fidesz is still the biggest party in Hungary, but he had expected much greater support. Therefore, the results cannot be interpreted as anything but a big failure for him. The same thing happened in Poland for Law & Justice.

And up here in the North, there is a very different story! FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, THE FASCIST SWEDEN DEMOCRATS LOST IN SUPPORT! The Sweden Democrats came into our national parliament in 2010. Since then, they have been growing in every election, both national and European parliament elections. No matter all their scandals and everything. It has been as if it was impossible to stop them from increasing their support. To give an example, this spring, there has been an enormous scandal around them after two journalists infiltrated their communications office and were able to reveal that the Sweden Democrats, sanctioned by their party leader, have been running a troll factory on the internet. For years and years, they have had young guys working for them putting up white nationalist, racist anonymous accounts on all kinds of social media platforms where they spread fascist propaganda. Lots of us on the left in Sweden were a bit hopeless and expected that even after a scandal like this, the Sweden Democrats might still grow.

But they didn’t! Instead, they lost several percent. The Greens gathered much more support than anyone had thought and became Sweden’s third-biggest party. But the most significant increase from the last election – the Leftwing party! And that was not because of that they took voters from the Social Democrats as also the Social Democrats grew a little.

The massive increase for the Leftwing party is partly thought to be due to their top candidate for the European parliament, Jonas Sjöstedt. Sjöstedt is a strong supporter of Palestine and Ukraine. After the election, he said that the Leftwing party’s success is thanks to the movement for Palestine.

A similar situation with immense success for Greens and Leftwing parties was also seen in Finland and Denmark. Hence, the winds are for a left-leaning future up here in the North!

Other things to note: this election, at least in the Nordic countries, was one where the difference between what men and women vote for was the biggest ever. That men tend to vote conservatively and for the far right much more often than women, and women tend to vote for Greens and Leftwing parties much more often, is something known. However, learning that the differences are increasing is a big concern. Also, what has been unusual this election (and also at our last national elections) is that there is now a significant section of young people who turn to far-right and conservative parties. Young people almost always tended to be for the progressive parties; the majority still are. Still, now there is also this loud and very conservative and xenophobic trend that is gathering more support among parts of the 18 to 30-year-olds.


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