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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 19:26 GMT 20:26 UK
Swedish press hails poll result
Swedish moderate party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt celebrates his narrow victory
The Moderate Party's victory ended 12 years of Social Democrat rule

"The change of power" is the front-page headline in Aftonbladet, Sweden's biggest-selling daily.

The paper says centre-right leader Fredrik Reinfeldt "skilfully deployed a customer-focused strategy" in the campaign, but that it "now remains to be seen how he and the alliance handle their victory".

It says the election result "can hardly be interpreted as a 'yes' to a change of system".

After 10 years of [Goeran] Persson the Swedish people are tired of his self-righteous manner and concentration of power

"The non-socialist alliance went to the country trying to resemble the Social Democrats in many ways" and "Reinfeldt endorsed the Swedish welfare model and has even defended collective bargaining and the right to employment".

The liberal Stockholm tabloid Expressen is clearly delighted at the election result. Its front page shows Fredrik Reinfeldt holding today's paper under the headline "Fredrik governs".

The paper's editorial is headlined: "Leader: Victory!"

"One explanation for the change of power is called Goeran Persson. Many saw the election as a referendum on him. After 10 years of Persson, the Swedish people are tired of his self-righteous manner and concentration of power", it says.

"It has also been painfully obvious that the old workers' party no longer has any answers when it comes to jobs. the movement has run out of ideas and has therefore dedicated itself to flattering itself," it goes on.

On the centre-right, it says that "the formation of the alliance was one of the keys to victory".

"But the decisive cause of the change of power is Fredrik Reinfeldt, his new Moderates and his role as leader of the alliance."

Time for change

Dagens Nyheter says "the electorate voted for a change of power, new leadership and teamwork rather than the dominance of a lonely leader".

"The alliance has done what no-one thought was possible... It has achieved a victory without doing anything as drastic as merging its parties or even operating under a single party name in breach of the spirit of the constitution."

"According to the conventional political wisdom a robust economy, good growth figures and good growth in real wages should mean the sitting government winning at a canter. This general political rule of thumb is supported by more than 70 years' political experience in Sweden: only in exceptional times is our country governed by another party than the Social Democrats.

"But the alliance showed both to itself and the voters that there is no natural basis for Social-Democrat domination."

Swedish democracy is about to have oxygen pumped into it.
Sydsvenska Dagbladet

"The successful building of the alliance is a unique political event which hit the Swedish Left in the solar plexus", says Svenska Dagbladet.

"The non-socialists held the initiative throughout the long campaign. The Riksdag election has been a referendum on the opposition's message about the future rather than the government's list of merits," it says.


Malmoe's Sydsvenska Dagbladet headlines its editorial: "A good choice, voters".

"The voters have had their say. Sweden is changing government. Out go the tired Social Democrats. In come psyched-up politicians from the non-socialist alliance, led by Moderate leader Fredrik Reinfeldt," it says.

"It is time for a change of government... Not because the alliance has answers to all the questions. Or that it outshines the Social Democrats in every regard - far from it.

"But Swedish democracy is about to have oxygen pumped into it. A breeze is blowing through the Riksdag and Rosenbad [the prime minister's official residence] and it can blow away arrogance and the abuse of power after 12 years of Social Democrat rule. That is important in itself."

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