When Sweden elects a new parliament in 2022, there is a possibility that a conservative government is formed under the leadership of the conservative Moderate Party with the support of the right-wing popularist Sweden Democrats. This constellation was considered unthinkable up until only recently.
The conservative opposition parties are partly responsible for this right-wing populist triumph. Along with the Christian Democratic Party, the Moderate Party has revoked the consensus among the established democratic parties in Sweden to refuse any kind of cooperation with the right-wing populists.
These prospects have been made possible by the Moderate Party’s programmatic shift to the right from 2018 onwards. It is questionable whether this strategy of normalising right-wing populist ideas by adopting their positions will work. Historically, it has always been bourgeois, conservative parties who have helped right-wing populist parties to power.
The report is written by Håkan A. Bengtsson, Managing Director at the Swedish think tank Arenagruppen and political editor at the belonging daily news-magazine Dagens Arena.