The upcoming general elections

The Swedish polit­i­cal dis­cus­sion was already, dur­ing the spring, dom­i­nat­ed by the gen­er­al elec­tions to be held in Sep­tem­ber 2010. Both the oppo­si­tion (the Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty – s, the Green Par­ty – mp, and the Left Par­ty – v) and the gov­ern­ing Alliance for Swe­den (the Mod­er­ates – m, the Lib­er­al Par­ty – fp, the Cen­tre Par­ty – c, and the Chris­t­ian Democ­rats – kd) have put for­ward their main ideas for the future gov­ern­ment. Promi­nent areas of the ongo­ing dis­cus­sion have, as usu­al, been jobs, wel­fare and tax­es.11Mats J. Larsson/Hans Ols­son: Nu lad­dar de för en sten­hård val­rörelse [Now they are gear­ing up for a very tough elec­tion cam­paign], Dagens Nyheter, 20 May 2010, p. 24. This year, pro­pos­als deal­ing with the envi­ron­ment have been more promi­nent than before, most prob­a­bly due to the more impor­tant role of the Green Par­ty in the oppo­si­tion, fol­low­ing sharp increas­es for this par­ty in opin­ion polls.

Reac­tions to the eco­nom­ic cri­sis in Europe have not become a divi­sive issue thus far. In the first big debate, both Fredrik Rein­feldt and Mona Sahlin (social demo­c­rat and oppo­si­tion leader) agreed that, while the Euro coun­tries had the pri­ma­ry respon­si­bil­i­ty, Swe­den should do what it can to help.22Ewa Sten­berg: Krisen tar plats i val­rörelsen [The cri­sis enters the elec­tion cam­paign], Dagens Nyheter, 10 May 2010, p. 8. Even though Swe­den is out­side the Euro, its small, open and glob­al econ­o­my makes it vul­ner­a­ble to crises in oth­er coun­tries and it is there­fore in Sweden’s inter­est to do so. Since the Swedish econ­o­my is in very good shape, there is no dis­cus­sion on aus­ter­i­ty measures.

The elec­tion cam­paign will prob­a­bly be intense since the two blocks are now very even in the opin­ion polls. This sit­u­a­tion came very sud­den­ly after a long peri­od in which the oppo­si­tion had main­tained a strong lead position.

    Footnotes

  • 1Mats J. Larsson/Hans Ols­son: Nu lad­dar de för en sten­hård val­rörelse [Now they are gear­ing up for a very tough elec­tion cam­paign], Dagens Nyheter, 20 May 2010, p. 24.
  • 2Ewa Sten­berg: Krisen tar plats i val­rörelsen [The cri­sis enters the elec­tion cam­paign], Dagens Nyheter, 10 May 2010, p. 8.

The reports focus on a report­ing peri­od from Decem­ber 2009 until May 2010. This sur­vey was con­duct­ed on the basis of a ques­tion­naire that has been elab­o­rat­ed in March and April 2010. Most of the 31 reports were deliv­ered in May 2010.

The EU-27 Watch No. 9 receives sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from the Otto Wolff-Foun­da­tion, Cologne, in the frame­work of the ‘Dia­log Europa der Otto Wolff-Stiftung’, and finan­cial sup­port from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is not respon­si­ble for any use that may be made of the infor­ma­tion con­tained therein.