Europe Swedish PM Lofven still voters’ favourite leader despite crisis

Swedish PM Lofven still voters’ favourite leader despite crisis

Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Lofven is Swedish voter’s most trusted leader, a poll showed on Thursday, despite a crisis that saw parliament pass a vote of no-confidence in him at the start of the week.

The Novus poll showed 38% of Swedes have confidence in Lofven, ahead of his most likely rival for the post of prime minister, centre-right Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson, who was backed by 35% of voters.

Lofven has a week to resign or call a new election as a result of Monday’s no-confidence vote and the former welder is in last-ditch talks to keep his minority coalition in power. 

Lofven needs to persuade the Left Party – whose decision to withdraw support from the government triggered the crisis – and the Liberal Party to back him in order to form a viable government.

The Left Party could come back on board, after changes to plans to ease rent controls – the issue that caused them to turn their back on Lofven.

The Liberals have said they want Kristersson as prime minister, but the centre-right Moderate leader cannot command a majority in parliament and a snap election is looking increasingly likely.

Opinion polls show the Liberals could drop below the 4% threshold to get seats in parliament, putting pressure on them to do a deal with Lofven.

The Novus poll showed Lofven’s support had risen 2% since March with Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson’s falling 1%.

Among the other gainers were Jimmie Akesson, head of the nationalist Sweden Democrats – the party which called the vote of no-confidence in Lofven – and Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar. Liberal leader Nyamko Sabuni was also more popular.