Sweden’s centre-right leader Fredrik Reinfeldt has got straight down to work after his four-party coalition’s historic victory in Sunday’s general election. He has begun talks on forming a new government with key allies after ending 12 years of Social Democrat rule.
When questioned he gave away little about his intentions simply stating that he and the other alliance leaders will need a bit of time to decide who is responsible for what. The Moderate party leader has until October 6 to present his cabinet to parliament.
For the moment it seems nearly half of Sweden will be nursing a sore head after celebrations went on long into the night. Reinfeldt’s coalition’s will only have a slim majority of seven seats as it tries to push through the proposed changes to the welfare and tax system that got it elected.
However, the narrow defeat spells the end of an era for Sweden’s Prime Minister Goran Persson, one of Europe’s longest serving leaders as well as his Social Democrats. The party’s dominated Swedish politics for most of the last seven decades but polls suggest people were simply fed up with him, despite the country’s strong economy.