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SD’s Surprising Setback in Sweden’s Sölvesborg Elections

Sölvesborg Shakes Up: SD’s Surprising Setback in Åkesson’s Hometown

Silence on the Square: What Went Wrong for SD?

It was a typical election day in Sölvesborg, the stronghold and childhood town of Jimmie Åkesson, leader of Sweden Democrats (SD). But the quiet on the streets mirrored an unexpected electoral outcome that left the party’s local leaders baffled and calling for urgent strategy meetings.

In a significant twist during the EU Parliament elections, Sövesborg, a dedicated bastion of SD, witnessed its votes decrease dramatically. The once-dominant SD, which secured 28.6% of the votes previously, dropped to 25.9%. This marked the first time in over three decades that the party saw a decline during elections in this area.

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Mats Gunnarsson, the acting group leader in Sölvesborg for SD, openly expressed his dismay. “When the real results came in, I was actually a bit shocked,” he admitted during an interview with Aftonbladet. Gunnarsson, who had dismissed initial exit polls as inaccurate, believed the count would turn in their favor eventually, which unfortunately did not occur.

The lack of presence on the ground seemed to have been SD’s fundamental oversight. “We should have campaigned more,” Gunnarsson confessed. There hadn’t been the usual fervor or outreach—no door-knocking, no speakers rallying at the town square, only a lone election hut that hardly buzzed with activity. “It’s been dead quiet,” Gunnarsson noted, pinpointing a stark absence of vibrant discourse that typically characterized previous campaigns.

Gunnarsson plans to organize a detailed review with the board to dissect what exactly led to this decline. “We’ve had no real campaigns,” he said regretfully. This lack of mobilization appeared to hinder the motivation of their traditionally EU-skeptical voter base to turn up at the polls.

On the contrast, Kith Mårtensson of the Moderates, who celebrated their success in Sölvesborg and throughout Blekinge, hinted that SD’s narrow focus on hindering the current municipal government rather than promoting their political agenda might have contributed to their reduced appeal. The Moderates celebrated a significant advancement, securing a close 27.4%, positioning them as the new leading party in Sölvesborg.

Local reactions varied. At Stortorget, the town center, the community expressed mixed feelings. Amanda Besedes, a 33-year-old resident who voted for the Left Party, expressed mild surprise at SD’s downturn, suggesting that people’s perspectives might be shifting. In a hair salon, 60-year-old Elisabet Petersson related to the sentiment, believing that environmental issues, which were not SD’s forte, dominated this election. Meanwhile, Rolf Johansson, a 75-year-old SD supporter, missed voting due to his commitments at the Sweden Rock festival, alluding that controversies like SD’s alleged anonymous internet accounts might have stirred enough dispute to affect their standing.

All eyes are now on SD’s next steps as they mull over their quiet streets and silent squares, looking to recapture the voices and votes of Sölvesborg. Will SD learn from this setback? Only time will tell, but clearly, the political winds in this small Swedish town are changing, signaling that nothing should be taken for granted anymore.

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