With the Moderate Party earning only 23.2 percent of the vote compared to 31.1 percent for the opposition Social Democrats. (with the Alliance earning 39.4 percent) Reinfeldt stepped down at around 11.30pm.
The new Riksdag will meet for the first time at the end of September. But government stays until parliament reconvenes Sept 30 and forming of new government starts.
PM Reinfeldt will offer resignation tomorrow.
“The election is over. Sweden has made its decision. And I will hand in my notice tomorrow. All these years under the Alliance have been fantastic,” he told the crowd.
The country has bounced back from the recession faster and farther than any other in Western Europe. And he centre-right government’s achievements go deeper still and there is an even more fundamental points that should be appreciated.
Reinfeldt stepped down as both prime minister and party leader after serving for eight years, adding that he would serve as party head until spring. Political leaders and voters my often have quite different preferences for various policies. The alliance won the election campaign but lost the electon.
The far-right Sweden Democrats appear to have more than doubled their score. Red and green parties far from majority. Majority building is the whole point of Swedish politics. Sweden has eight main political parties, so it is very rare for one party to win an election and form a majority government. Fredrik Reinfeldt could stay Prime Minister if the Alliance got enough votes to remain the largest political bloc.
It is something of a chock with the right populist Sweden Democrats with 13% emerging as third largest party of the country. The other parties will try desperately to continue the Sweden Democrats’ isolation. But that will now be a real challenge, and will create acute dilemmas for several parties.
The final result is expected on Saturday 20 September at the earliest. Sept 30 forming of new government starts.