Sweden's Populist Moment That Wasn't
Swedish voters on Sunday headed to the polls for parliamentary elections. Despite the inauspicious date—Sept. 11—and the mounting crises facing Europe, the election took place with little incident: There were no riots or violence, nor even signs of acute polarization.
There is always a temptation to fit electoral events into grander political narratives. Some outlets reported that the election was “Sweden's populist moment,” and that the rising fortunes of the right-wing Sweden Democrats signal a backlash against a “globalist political elite.” Others framed the election as an instance of the “far right” making huge gains in a previously stable and tolerant liberal democracy.
Neither narrative is correct. In fact, the 2022 election was a stability election, not a populist one.