PM calls fresh election after losing budget vote
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has announced a general election just three months after voters last went to the polls. The election is expected to take place on 22nd March 2015.
The decision came after the ruling coalition failed to get its budget passed. Instead the opposition budget was passed by 153 votes for the government budget and 182 votes backing the opposition. The Prime Minister had previously made it clear that he would rather resign than implement the opposition’s budget.
In the general election held on 14th September this year the Prime Minister’s Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP) won 113 of the 349 seats in the Riksdag, up just one seat. Their coalition partner, the Green Party (MP) took 24 seats (-1 seat). This led to a minority government of just 138 seats when 175 seats are needed for a majority.
The former government Alliance parties lost seats with Moderate Party coming with 84 seats, a net loss of 23 seats on 2010. The Centre Party (C) took 22 seats whilst the Liberal People’s Party (FP) were down five seats to 19 seats and the Christian Democrats (KD) took 17 seats, down two seats on 2010.
The other two parties elected to parliament were the Left Party (V) with 21 seats (+2) and the far-right Sweden Democrats who went up from 20 seats to 49 seats.
The full statement of the Prime Minister’s decision as published on the government offices website is as follows:
“Prime Minister announces decision on extraordinary elections
The Riksdag today voted and took a decision on the economic framework for expenditures and revenue in the budget in accordance with the proposal of the Alliance parties. The Prime Minister has announced that at the end of December, the Government intends to take a decision on extraordinary elections to the Riksdag, planned for 22 March 2015.
“The situation in Sweden is serious. On 29 December, the Government will take a decision to announce extraordinary elections, pursuant to the Instrument of Government. We will do this to let the voters have their say in the new political landscape that has arisen,” says Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.
The Riksdag decision on the economic framework governs the continued processing of the budget in the Riksdag. In the next stage, the Riksdag decides how to divide up expenditure in each individual expenditure area; in other words, how much money different activities will receive. Processing of the Budget Bill is completed when the Riksdag has taken a position on the framework decision and the proposals in all 27 expenditure areas. The Riksdag then complies the central government budget.”