Happy election-year 2018!

Happy election-year 2018!

It’s not just another year – it’s Swedish elections year!

Swedish politics, which has been fairly static for the past decades, have seen dramatic events that has shaken the political establishment since the last election in 2014. The days of boring politics have faded into distant memory – volatility and unpredictability are the new normal.

Now it’s time for Sweden to head to the polls again and the coming political year will be dramatic. The conflict structure in the Swedish party system is currently two-dimensional; polarisation between parties is strong both along the traditional left-right dimension, but also on issues of globalisation, multi-culturalism, migration and integration issues.

What, then, will be the issues during this year’s election campaign? If you ask the voters, it will be integration. A DN/Ipsos poll published in December, questioned Swedes on the issue they believe will dominate the 2018 election debate. It found that immigration and integration came out top. 38 per cent of those questioned believe that integration and immigration will dominate the election debate. Health care came second with 32 per cent. The state of the healthcare has been a hot topic due to problems in maternity care and a high-profile closure of a maternity ward in northern Sweden earlier this year. Schools and education contuniues to be high on the agenda for the Swedes as well (28%). Law and order came fourth in the poll. Policing is another area where there have been stories of problems in recent years, including the re-organisation of the police authority, decreasing numbers of police officers and problems with the crime clearance rate.

Stefan Löfven’s period in office has so far been characterised by low-intensity political chaos. Still, the Prime Minister has managed to navigate well through budget defeats, the December Agreement, refugee crisis, threat of a snap election, IT scandal and votes of no confidence. But despite the headaches, very difficult political conditions and tough odds, Löfven has managed to manoeuvre his red-green coalition to a slight lead in the polls over the Alliance parties as 2018 begins.

With 251 days to go, the only thing that seems fairly predictable is that much of the Swedish elections will be about the Swedish Democrats, directly or indirectly. The discussions about the various possible government constellations after the election will continue, of course. As for the voters, polls suggest that they have already made up their mind; they prefer a government containing parties from both of the party blocs.

Follow the 2018 Swedish elections with Mundus International

Now, Mundus International is gearing up for the 2018 Swedish elections. Political junkies, like ourselves, are very excited! Over the next 10 months, Mundus International will provide our subscribers with the background, insights and the analysis for the 2018 elections. We will cover the news about the campaign and the results in Mundus News. Political analysis during the campaign and around the election, will be covered in the Monthly Policy Review, including a wrap-up of the election campaign with a look at the major issues and possible cabinet ministers. Subscribers will also have access to background information in the Mundus subscriber area.

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Jessica Nilsson Williams is the CEO & Founder of Mundus International. She has a long-standing interest in international affairs, having worked in the field for 20 years. She began her career as the political advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, and then worked in the corporate- and NGOs sectors London and Singapore before returning to Stockholm. In 2011 she took up a senior role at the New Zealand Embassy before founding Mundus International in 2012.