The Moderate party of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is planning Red – Green killer as the election nears
Thursday, 17 October 2013
General elections in Sweden is nearing and the current incumbent Prime
Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, is looking for ways to turn his party and
coalition’s current low ratings into victory. As he has been trying to
make some political turn around, he seems to have finally stumbled upon
what could be described as a Red – Green killer.
Looking at the ways things stand now, one in five Swedish voters still
has not yet decided on how they’ll vote in the general election next
year. Most of them voted for the Alliance coalition in the last
election but their decision for this session remain obscured as the
Alliance have made things so complicated for them.
The Alliance coalition, made up of the Moderate party of the Prime
Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, The Centre party, the Christian Democrats
and the People’s party lag behind the Red-Green coalition on the
various opinion polls. Gaps in their healthcare, education and
social or welfare policies is causing giving the Alliance coalition
headache especially when reminded by the Socialists on the left.
The Social Democrats have made it clear that they will increase taxes
to fund social services and the Alliance coalition say they will cut
taxes but who has the edge?
Fredrik Reinfeldt and his supporters supporters the summer
On Thursday the Moderate party meeting in Norrköping, seems to have
started looking into how to answer these questions. Observers believe
now that the party is ready to embark on a new path to reverse its low
The other day, the Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt announced that he
did not want to go to the polls with new tax cuts. The move followed
the parliamentary party leader debate on Thursday, which Reinfeldt
highlighted the Alliance coalition’s efforts in the area of welfare.
He pointed out, among other things, that there are more doctors and
nurses now than in 2006 and that waiting times and lists for treatment
has decreased and more health centres have been created.
On paper that is good but in reality is so? There has been florid of
news reports about lack of hospital beds, sick people and pregnant
mothers crowding hospital corridors, schools performing poorly and
others with state money going bankrupt, old people having some of the
poorest care services ever observed in Sweden and more.
Conservatives must show that they are a softer party, that is, a party
for the people and are not just looking at the money and the business
class, according to Torbjorn Sjöström the CEO of public opinion
organisation, Novus, report Swedish business daily, Dagens Industri.
For these uncertain voter’s health care has emerged as one of the most
important issue. Thereafter, jobs, schools and elderly care. Moderates
party’s parade about the economy will only attract a sixth of the
doubtful voters, according to Novus.
"The Social Democrats have a substantial lead in general when it comes
to welfare issues, but many of the doubtful voters associate Social
democrats with tax increases, which they oppose, "says Torbjörn
"If the Conservatives manage to turn the question around welfare, they
have a great chance. This group is so large that it could turn them in
the election, "he continues.
But to win the match on welfare, which is usually seen as the Social
Democrats' home turf, will not be done in a flash. Despite the negative
reports on healthcare and schools, there is also the ghosts of the
issues about private equity companies making multi-million profits
within the healthcare sector and unsuccessfully the Moderate party has
failed to clarify the issue to the satisfaction of voters.
Another problem for the Conservatives is that welfare initiatives cost
money, which Fredrik Reinfeldt previously identified as a scarce
resource. But the question is if the welfare issue is vital why give
generous tax cuts for business which are not helping to reduce
unemployment and to households that still demand these services? This
is why the Social democrats attached the Moderate yesterday in the
parliament and accused them of borrowing to fund tax cut instead of
investing in schools.
But Reinfeldt insists that he wants to invest more money particularly
in school and invest more in teaching hours and more specialist
teachers. At the same time, the Moderate party proposal prior to the
meeting in Norrköping hold that that new jobs tax credit remains a
priority when the state financial situation allows.
Magnus Hagevi believe nevertheless that Conservatives may have chosen
the right strategy, as they try to make the Social Democrats look like
the benefit dependent party. The goal seems to be to put the
opposition's demands for higher unemployment and increased sickness
contribution in future civil initiatives in health, education and
Therefore present the social democrats as the welfare dependent party could swing more voters to their camp. We’ll see…