Social Democratic leader Stefan Löfven was re-elected Prime Minister of Sweden by parliament on Wednesday (7), ending the eventful weeks which led to his resignation at the end of June.
Support for Löfven’s return, however, was only 116 votes out of 349 seats, and he only emerged victorious because there was no clear majority against. The opposition needed 175 votes, but gathered 173, with a deputy against the party and supporting the prime minister. There were also 60 abstentions.
Low support always keeps the situation unstable. Löfven, who left office after being defeated in a motion of no confidence in parliament on June 21, is due to pass the budget and said he would resign again if he did not get the House seal when of a vote in the northern hemisphere in the fall, in the spring Brazil.
“I am the first to admit that it will not be easy,” the Prime Minister said at a press conference. “But I’m also the first to say: now we all have to contribute. No one can have it all, but everyone can get something.
For the political scientist of the University of Gothenburg Jonas Hinnfors, at the moment, the crisis is over. “The opposition may feel stronger because it has shown how fragile the majority is for the government, but on the other hand, it is also evident that the center-right parties do not have this majority.”
The crisis in Sweden started with the presentation of a proposal to reduce rent controls. Under the plan, landlords could freely set the price of tuition fees, which the left sees as a threat to tenants’ rights.
Unhappy, the Left Party announced that it might table a motion of no confidence against Löfven, which was ultimately done by the country’s main far-right acronym, the Swedish Democratic Party.
The Moderate Conservative Party and the Christian Democrats supported the motion, which passed by 181 votes out of a total of 349. It was the first time that a Swedish prime minister has lost such a vote.
With the motion of censure approved, Löfven opted for his resignation, thus avoiding the calling of early elections. The vote is slated for September 2022, but Swedish Democratic leader Jimmie Akesson is pushing for the vote to take place earlier.
“There have been seven wasted years of failure,” he said in a speech to Parliament. “It would be best if the new political situation was tested in early elections. This is the only way to untie the political knots in this country.
The crisis has undermined the center of the political spectrum, but the Left Party and the ultra-rightists seem to have emerged with encouragement. Confidence in the acronym Left has increased in the polls since support for Löfven was withdrawn.
Meanwhile, the Swedish Democrats helped topple the government, albeit temporarily, and forged closer ties with other right-wing parties after being treated like political outcasts for too long.