In Svenska Dagbladet’s daily poll charting the support for the parliamentary parties, the Social Democrats have 25.3%, the Sweden Democrats 17.2% and the Moderates 17.0%. In DN/Ipsos approval poll, Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch Thor’s approval ratings have jumped 10 points to 29% in the past month. Centre Party leader Annie Lööf tops the poll of party leaders, closely followed by Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven at 40% and Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson on 38%.
In an analysis of the decline of the Social Democrats, from traditionally being the largest party with a clear majority, the Swedish newspaper Expressen publishes an article today of why the Social Democrats’ election campaign is not working, underlining that the traditional battle lines of left and right have now been replaced by something entirely different.
The usual rules for a successful election campaign involve defining your opponent, writes Expressen’s Torbjörn Nilsson. The Social Democrats have been used to being “the subject,” the ones to set the tone, rather than “the object”. “And have therefore not noticed that their opponents have moved their positions forwards.” In SVT’s questions, Prime Minister, and leader of the Social Democrats, Stefan Löfven talks about the old struggles – left and right. But in the new struggle – the culture war – neither the Social Democrats nor the Moderates define their opponents. That is the domain of the Sweden Democrats.
DN recently published an article on online dominance. It is nothing new that SD have digital dominance, but this article provided something more concrete. They looked at the major Facebook groups and could identify July 2018 as the point at which the SD-leaning groups became larger than the left-wing equivalents, measured in followers and interactions.
“The other parties, of course, carry out digital marketing – directed hidden adverts, pictures, films, the usual name calling. But they pay to be seen in sponsored posts… The Sweden Democrats do not need to pay. They have an infrastructure of pages and groups with followers that beats everything.”
In August, the right-wing populist pages, measured in number of shares, were more than double as large as all the Swedish media houses together. “The Social Democrats’ head of press sits in a red campaign bus and talks about the headlines in traditional media. Meanwhile the message that his party is corrupt and incompetent and a traitor is being fed out to peoples’ mobiles.”
The article concludes that the Social Democrats’ election machinery is running like clockwork, but that is the reason why the opinion figures are so poor.
We are a small, but qualified team of graduates in politics, economics, English and classics dedicated to providing quality news digests in English that offer readers a first-hand look at the most important topics covered by the Swedish press. Here you will find a selection of the articles that are published in our Swedish Press Review.