In Scandinavia the wind does not come from the right, but from the left

In Scandinavia the wind does not come from the right, but from the left

In Denmark, Sweden and Finland, the wind does not come from the right at all, but from the left. The Danish Social Democrats lost to the more left-wing Socialists, the Finnish Socialists have the most popular candidate in the country with party leader Lee Andersson, and in Sweden the opposition Social Democrats are the largest.

“Denmark sends strong signal to Europe,” the headline read. Danish newspaper Politics. The newspaper said: “The shift towards the right in Europe has not affected Denmark.” The Socialist People’s Party is the largest party in these elections, with 17.4 percent of the votes. “The Social Democrats are losing here not to the right, but to the left.” They retain their three European seats, but do so with fewer votes.

The Danish result is also a signal for national politics, says political communication professor Claes de Vries (UvA). “After the previous parliamentary elections, it was possible to form a center-left government, but the Social Democrats chose to bypass the right.”

The Danish coalition now consists of the Social Democratic Party and two liberal parties, Finster and Modernatern. Together they had half of the Danish seats in the European Parliament, and now they have six out of fifteen.

De Vries says voters preferred to form a coalition on the left. “By now voting green and left, voters are signaling that they would have preferred this alliance. Of course, you see this often in European elections, and now also in Germany and France, where voters send such a signal.

The far-right Danish People’s Party won one seat, which was less than expected. “There is a lot of competition on the right,” De Vries explains. “Voters are therefore less focused on one party than in, say, France or Germany.”

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The Social Democrats are also keeping the sails out of the right with a tough policy on asylum and immigration, although the party does ultimately benefit from being too similar to its right-wing rival, according to De Vries.

Sweden and Finland

For the first time, the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, part of the coalition, lost popularity in the election. The party received 13.2 percent of the vote, 2.1 percent less than in 2019. This is due to the media, according to party leader Jamie Acheson: A political scandal arose around the party’s use of anonymous fake accounts on social media. Akesson complains that there is no longer much interest in the party’s political ideas.

The opposition Social Democrats remain the largest party in Sweden, winning nearly a quarter of the votes and five seats.

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In Finland, the far-right Finns party was the biggest loser. It was expected that the coalition party would eventually obtain three seats. I became only one. Two party ministers were discredited last year over Nazi jokes.

The electoral success of the Finnish Socialists was mainly due to the great popularity of Lee Andersson. Party leader ‘in shock’: Her party has grown by 10.4 percent compared to the previous European elections. It received the most votes of all the candidates, 247,604. Prime Minister Petri Orbu’s Conservative Party remains the largest with four seats.

According to Professor Claes de Vries, Scandinavia shows that the much-discussed rise of the far right “is not a linear or regular process, as you can see in these elections.” The Danish People’s Party, for example, has been participating in elections for more than 25 years and has become a “normal political party.” “Sometimes they do it well, sometimes they don’t.”

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