Features

Betting on politics: battling for the Riksdag

With the Swedish elections coming up, Matthew Partridge looks at who is odds-on favourite to win.

911-Riksdag-634
Sweden: voting next week

A week on Sunday (9 September) Sweden will vote in parliamentary elections. Three parties are in contention: the incumbent Social Democrats (who have led 16 out of the past 21 governments since World War II), the far-right Swedish Democrats and the Moderate Party (the Swedish equivalent of the Conservatives). At the moment, the best bookies' odds on who will get the most seats are Ladbrokes's 4/6 (60%) on the Social Democrats, Paddy Power's 6/4 (40%) on the Swedish Democrats and its 18/1 (5.2%) on the Moderate Party.

Seats in the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament, are allocated almost perfectly proportionally, so it boils down to which party will get the most votes nationally. Earlier in the summer the Swedish Democrats enjoyed a mini surge and briefly took the lead from the Social Democrats in polls. But they have since fallen back and are now tied with the Moderate Party for second place, 5%-7% behind the Social Democrats.

The Swedish Democrats have clearly gained ground since 2014, due to the controversy over the number of refugees entering Sweden. However, many of their voters seem to be supporting them in order to register a protest vote, and don't want them to become the largest party. Back in June I said you should lay the Swedish Democrats (bet against them being the largest party). I'm now going to recommend that you also take Ladbrokes's 4/6 on the Social Democrats to win.

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