BBC regional reporter Damien McGuinness said the success of the far right has shocked many voters in Sweden.Given that the Sweden Democrats [in Swedish] managed to get those 20 seats because people voted for them, even though they were apparently not asked to take part in any of the official debates, I cannot quite see that there is anything shocking about it all. As for Sweden being a tolerant and open-minded society, that is a matter for debate. But, however one looks at it, tolerance and open-mindedness needs to be reciprocal. When a sizeable or, at least, vociferous proportion of the 14 per cent that is Sweden's immigrant population, refuses to accept those tolerant and open-minded ideas but insists on imposing its own non-tolerant world-views, the question is altered.
Winning 20 seats in parliament, the Sweden Democrats have obviously touched a nerve, he adds.
The party appears to have tapped into voter dissatisfaction over immigration, says our correspondent, with the result undermining the image of Sweden as a tolerant and open-minded country.
The Wikipedia entry on the party has been locked for obvious reasons and is, therefore, just a shade out of date as it has not the election results. What it tells us about the party does not sound so absolutely horrifying: they are against Sweden joining the euro but so are most Swedes; they want to renegotiate Sweden's membership of the EU but so do many Swedes though it is not clear how they are going to do it; they believe in freedom of speech for all even people who draw cartoons of Mohammed; and, as all political parties, their views are a hotch-potch.
Reuters points out that the Swedish result with the Centre-Right party remaining the largest though lacking overall majority as well as the so-called far-right winning those crucial 20 votes point to the various problems socialist parties have had recently in Europe. Since my definition of socialism would probably be different from Reuters I am not sure I would agree entirely. After all, very few of the so-called right-wing parties are anti-socialist in any real sense of that expression. Still, it is true that within the very narrow parameters of European politics, electorates seem to go for the right.
To sum up: the Centre Right alliance under the Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, has won 172 seats, which means a minority government or a coalition with another party. Nothing on earth, says Prime Minister Reinfeldt, will make him form a coalition with those nasty Sweden Democrats. He prefers that Greens, who are definitely on the left, are socialists and opponents of any kind of a free economy. But the Opposition with its 157 votes maintains that the alliance there stands firm. We shall see.