Sweden’s election: Lofven’s coalition problem

Lofven prays for more allies

DESPITE winning only 31.2% of the vote, Sweden’s Social Democrats were jubilant on September 14th. Stefan Lofven, their leader, declared that the voters’ rejection of the centre-right alliance under Fredrik Reinfeldt marked a return to Social Democratic solidarity and the egalitarian Swedish welfare state.Yet Mr Lofven was far less jubilant a day later, as he faced the daunting task of forming a coalition government. He brusquely rejected the ex-communist Left (with 5.7%) and began negotiating with the Greens (6.8%). But the two parties are a long way short of a majority, and they have big policy differences. The Greens want two of Sweden’s ten nuclear reactors closed immediately, but Mr Lofven supports nuclear power; they also want to raise taxes more than the Social Democrats do.Mr Lofven is desperately trying to lure smaller centre-right parties away from the Moderate-led alliance, but so far he is having no luck. Worse, the Social Democrats have no tradition of managing baggy coalitions, preferring instead to run minority governments that look to smaller parties to win votes in parliament. Swedish…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/europe/21618847-social-democrats-win-will-find-it-hard-form-stable-government-lofvens-coalition?fsrc=rss|eur

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