LO on the Swedish general election - Eight years of increasing gaps at an end

Forming public opinion Swedish voters have clearly expressed that they want a new political direction, a new government and a new social democratic prime minister. It is a very positive message, says LO President Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson in a comment on the results of the Swedish general election held on 14 September .

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- It is a remarkable achievement by  the Social Democrats and their leader Stefan Loefven, considering that only two years ago an election victory seemed almost impossible to achieve.

The centre-right alliance, which has governed Sweden for the last eight years, has lost support – particularly the conservative Moderate party of prime minister Reinfeldt, which declined considerably. 

- The voters have turned the alliance down regarding every issue on their agenda, says Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson.

The new government, which is being formed, will now have to deal with the great social injustices  that  the voters have experienced and that LO has observed during the  past eight years:  increasing income gaps, high unemployment rate and a school system  that does not fulfil  its task. 

- Due to the election gains by the far-right Sweden Democrats, we are facing a difficult parliamentary situation. Stefan Loefven therefore has an extensive task ahead, when trying to form a well-functioning government.  We give him our wholehearted support in this task, LO President says, adding that the substantial result for the racist party is appalling.

- It is however important to understand that many of those voting for the SD are not racists. These are simply people worried about where society is going, people suffering from the existing social gaps, injustices and unemployment. It is by combating insecurity that we can also fight the Sweden Democrats. We need policies for equality and security that hold Sweden together; otherwise discontent will only grow.

LO and LO affiliates have carried out a strong election campaign that helped Stefan Loefven to become new prime minister. Together, we have made more than 220,000 calls to LO union members all over the country. Furthermore, the LO leadership has visited more than 240 workplaces to meet and talk with union members. LO’s 13 campaign films and two documentaries have been viewed over 1 million times and news about the union election campaign has generated more than 4,500 press clippings.

Swedish parliamentary election results (per cent):

Social Democratic Party:  31,2

Green Party: 6,8

Left Party:  5,7

Moderate Party: 23,2

Christian Democrats: 4,6

Centre Party: 6,1

Liberal People’s Party: 5,4

Sweden Democrats: 12,9

Feminist Initiative: 3,1