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New Statesman: The lesson of the Swedish Social Democrats is not the one you think

Politics and International Relations 1 June 2018

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Dr Itay Lotem, Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern Languages and Culture, wrote an article for the New Statesman on the Swedish pre-elections polls ahead of the September general elections.

On Wednesday 23 May, the Swedish pre-elections polls demonstrated that support for the Swedish far right party is at a record-high while the Social Democrats party has never polled so low ahead of the September general elections.

In his article, Dr Itay Lotem explored how the Social Democratic leaders’ decision to rebrand the party with a new discourse, involving tougher talk on immigration, focusing on generous welfare and mobilising nostalgia for a past where Social Democrats used to rule the country, actually backfired and made them lose votes.

According to him, the Swedish elections’ polls’ results could reflect the general centre-left parties’ current situation across Europe: “The Social Democrats seem in step with centre-left parties all over Europe, as a growing number of voices called to get tough on immigration and follow the ‘will of the people’. And yet, it was precisely at this moment that the Social Democrats dropped in the polls to their lowest level in over a decade.”

Read the full article on the New Statesman website.

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