Students at Swedish junior and senior high schools have thrown up something of an anomaly to the assumption that young people vote left-wing after swinging significantly to the right in support of conservative parties in a national mock school election.
The voters of tomorrow appear to be increasingly more right-leaning than the general population, with preliminary reports showing 27 percent voted for the center-right Moderates, 21 percent supported the right-wing Sweden Democrats, and just 16 percent backed the left-wing Social Democrats.
Support for the Moderates was up 6 percent on the previous mock school election held in 2018, while support for the Sweden Democrats was up 5 percent, and those backing the Social Democrats dropped by 3 percent.
The Left Party also lost support versus 2018, while the Green Party plummeted by 6 percent and the center-right Christian Democrats gained 6 percent.
“I must say that it is somewhat surprising,” political scientist Marja Lemne of the Södertörn University told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
One explanation Lemne offered for the results is that something of a “blue rebellion” could be being witnessed across the country after eight years of left-wing governance.
“There will be a young opposition to what has been. The last eight years of red-green rule are a very large part of their conscious life, but now they are looking for something new,” she said.
On the demise of the Swedish Green Party, Lemne said, “It may just be (people’s) imagination that youth are so interested in environmental issues.”
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The school results broadly correlate with the trajectory of last Sunday’s general election in Sweden, which saw considerable gains for right-wing, populist parties. The election result will enable the formation of a conservative coalition government with a working majority.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson admitted defeat on Thursday and conceded the election to a coalition of right-leaning parties as conservatives across Europe celebrated.
The right-wing, populst Sweden Democrats emerged as the second-largest party in Sweden with over 20 percent of the national vote.
With Swedish youth, many of whom will become eligible to vote over the next four years, already sympathetic to the conservative cause, the country currently known for its enthusiastic approach to mass immigration could witness a political overhaul in the years ahead.