Friday, 24 September 2010

Final results of Sweden’s general election

Yesterday the final results of the Swedish general election on Sunday were announced with only a small change from the preliminary results.
With all votes having been counted and checked the centre-right coalition which has been in power for the last four years wins 173 mandates rather the expected 172 – the Centre Party takes one seat in Parliament from the Social Democrats.
Nevertheless the fact remains that the government coalition, known as the Alliance, has lost its majority in Parliament. The Alliance was some 2,000 votes short of winning 50 % of the votes and fell two seats short of a renewed majority in Parliament.
However, the results show that a majority was even closer. The Liberal People’s Party was only 19 votes short of winning another seat from Gothenburg and only seven votes short of yet another mandate from Wermlandia, which means that the Alliance in reality was only 26 votes short of winning 175 of the 349 seats in Parliament. The Liberal People’s Party has made known its intention to file a complaint over the election results.
Fredrik Reinfeldt of the Moderate Party maintains that, because the Alliance remains the largest block in Parliament, he will go on being Prime Minister. When the Social Democrat Göran Persson lost his parliamentary majority in 2002, the Moderate Party tabled a motion of no confidence. Its then party leader, Bo Lundgren, back then said it was self-evident that a majority government which lost its majority in an election should resign, a motion for which also Fredrik Reinfeldt voted. But in politics there is of course a significant difference between what one considers a self-evident principle opponents should adhere to when it will benefit oneself and what one thinks about the same principle when one finds oneself in the same position and is not likely to benefit from it.
With neither the Alliance nor the opposition, the Red-Greens, having won a majority, the right-wing extremist party the Sweden Democrats remains in a position to tip the balance in Parliament.
The government coalition has been toying with the idea of reducing the number of seats on each parliamentary committee from 17 to 15 in order to keep the Sweden Democrats out of the committees – this is actually legally possible, although it would obviously be undemocratic and play into the hands of the Sweden Democrats, who would then be able to cast themselves even more strongly in the role as martyrs. Nevertheless there is a parliamentary majority for keeping the number of seats on each committee at 17, which means that the Sweden Democrats will hold the deciding vote on every issue dealt with in the committees every time the two blocks stand against each other.
The correct share of the votes for the Moderate Party has been corrected from 30 % to 30.1 %, for the Social Democrats from 30.9 % to 30.7 % and for the Green Party from 7.2 % to 7.3 %. Voter turnout was 84.6 %.
The final results also show that Donald Duck received 120 votes, King Carl Gustaf three, Jesus Christ and “God” both two, while Mickey Mouse and Harry Potter each received one vote. It should be added that neither of these gentlemen actually ran for a seat in Parliament, but as Sweden allows handwritten ballots one may vote for just about anyone.

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