Establishment parties in Sweden closed ranks and agreed to form a government to block out an anti-immigrant party, possibly breaking a political deadlock that has dragged on since the far-right party surged in last autumn’s elections. The surprise cross-party deal shows how the ascendance of nativist and anti-immigration parties is scrambling longstanding political alliances. The fragmentation of the Swedish party system has—as in many European countries—complicated governing and made the formation of coalition governments more difficult. It took German and Italian parties months before they finally managed to form governments last year, while Sweden has been in limbo since last September’s general election in which no single party secured a clear majority.
But after an intense round of horse trading in recent days, Sweden’s incumbent prime minister, Social Democrat Stefan Löfven, now has an agreement on the table that would see him form a minority government with the Green Party, allowing him to continue leading the country with cooperation from the Center and Liberal opposition parties.
However, the deal leaves him standing on shaky ground and could make governing difficult if he deviates from any of his promises.