The celebrations continued long into the night for supporters of Sweden’s centre-right parties after their victory in the country’s general election. The alliance, led by Fredrik Reinfeldt of the Moderate Party, won 48 percent of the vote against 46 for the Social Democrats. Reinfeldt is today negotiating with allies on forming a new government: “It feels fantastic. It’s the first time in 25 years that we now have a majority government that’s been elected on job creation. So it’s fantastic,” he said.
However the coalition will only have a narrow majority of seven seats as it tries to push through the proposed changes to welfare and taxes that got it elected. For the Social Democrats it is not just the end of 12 years in power but also an era, as Prime Minister Goran Persson has announced he is stepping down as party leader.
“We’ve lost the election but we are not a defeated party, he said trying to rally the troops. “We will aim to regain power.”
The election has been closely watched by other EU governments facing the need for welfare reform
because of ageing populations and creaking pension and healthcare systems.