Sweden: Social Democrats in Trouble

Sweden: Social Democrats in Trouble

Western progressives have long pointed to Swedish social democracy as an outstanding success story. As recently as the 1988 elections, the dominance of the Social Democratic Labor party (SAP) appeared unchallengeable. True, the party slipped somewhat at the ballot box, but so did the centrist and conservative parties. The Greens alone gained ground, winning parliamentary representation for the first time. Two years later, polls indicate a sharp decline in support for the SAP. The party is backed by just 35 percent of all Swedes. This would translate into an electoral plunge of more than 8 percent compared with 1988—the worst showing since the early 1930s. The future of the SAP is more uncertain today than it has been for a long time. What happened?

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Lima