The high stakes of Sweden’s election

The major players

  • The far-right Sweden Democrats has painted a gloomy picture of Swedish society, linking a rise in crime to the country’s liberal migration policies. With origins in neo-Nazi fringe movements of the 1980s, SD has outwardly rejected its racist past, but continues to traffic in nationalist rhetoric and has benefitted from a surge of online disinformation about immigration and Islam.
    • The party is on track for its best election performance ever, polling between 20% and 25%, but will need to form a coalition to win a legislative majority.
  • The center-left Social Democrats and center-right Moderates have been criticized for being too reactive to far-right politics at the expense of strengthening their own message, political scientist Ann-Catrin Kristianssen tells Axios. Both have promised to curb migration and crack down on crime, but are still expected to lose seats in parliament.

Key issues