Although not all the votes have quite been counted, and it remains a close election, the right is set for a small majority, and Goran Persson has now conceded on behalf of the Social Democrats. He told supporters in Stockholm, “We have lost the election, but we are not a beaten party. We will fight back”. Right-wing leader Fredrik Reinfeldt told supporters at his campaign headquarters, “We have won as the New Moderates”. Sources in Stockholm could not confirm if he then went on to say “A new dawn has broken has it not”.
Persson has already announced that he will resign at the next party congress, due to take place in March next year. He is already being blamed by many in the party for the loss. A lack of a long term vision, and clinging to a defence of the status quo through the short campaign is cited by The Daily’s sources in the Social Democrat campaign as the root cause of the defeat. However, it should be remembered that the Social Democrats were well over 10% behind this time last year, and a solid swing to the left during the early part of 2006 allowed the Social Democrats to claw their way back into contention.
The Daily now endorses Norway as the holiday destination of choice for the left.
Update: The reference to Blair’s 1997 election victory speech was a joke based on a part translation of the Moderate Party leader’s speech tonight. The BBC has Reinfeldt’s full comment: “We ran in the election as the New Moderates, we have won the election as the New Moderates and we will also together with our Alliance friends govern Sweden as the New Moderates”. The mind boggles.
Further update: Full results here.