Center-Right Wins Sweden Election, Loses Majority

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt‘s four-party coalition won enough seats in Sunday’s election to remain in control of the Swedish government, but the center-right Alliance faces an uphill climb after failing to maintain its majority in Parliament.

The Alliance won 172 seats, which are three short of an outright majority, while the Social Democrats-led Red-Green coalition took 154 seats. What caused the problem for the Alliance were the anti-immigrants Sweden Democrats, which entered Parliament for the first time by winning 20 seats.

Reinfeldt immediately reached out to the opposition Green Party, which won 25 seats, in a bid to gain a majority and avoid ruling in a minority administration. Green leader Maria Wetterstand had earlier rejected joining the center-right coalition, saying that the party could not fathom the idea of joining forces with a government “that doesn’t have a climate policy.”

Reinfeldt has promised not to seek the help of the Sweden Democrats, which have been controversial in the run-up to the election due to their anti-Islam campaign. The Sweden Democrats are campaigning against immigration, which the party says is draining government resources to the detriment of the country’s welfare system.