Ulf Kristersson will probably become the new prime minister

VBefore the 2018 election, Ulf Kristersson made a promise. Like other top Swedish politicians at the time, the leader of the bourgeois moderates also visited Holocaust survivor Hédi Fried, a moral authority in the country. Fried warned of the threat to democracy she saw looming. Kristersson, she said later, promised never to agree to any cooperation with the Sweden Democrats. Now, after Sunday’s election, there is every indication that Ulf Kristersson will become the new prime minister – and that his government will depend on support from the right-wing populists.

Matthias Wysuwa

Political correspondent for northern Germany and Scandinavia based in Hamburg.

Kristersson was born in Lund in December 1963 and grew up near Eskilstuna, a good 100 kilometers west of Stockholm. Since he took over the leadership of the moderates at the end of 2017, he has been wondering how the party should deal with the Sweden Democrats.

Right-wing populists were isolated in parliament for a long time. Kristersson’s predecessor as party leader stumbled when she once raised the possibility of working together. After the 2018 election, Kristersson tried to get himself confirmed as prime minister in parliament, but two bourgeois parties refused to support him – they wanted to prevent any influence from the Sweden Democrats.

turning away from past vows

One of the two, the Liberals, has reversed that decision. You have returned to the middle-class camp and, like Kristersson, made it clear before the election that you are ready to have the Sweden Democrats support you. So it will come now.

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