Some more commmentary on Sweden worth noting:
1. A pleased Johan Norberg explains how radical is the Alliance?
Almost all foreign observers - and some Swedish - ask me how radical Sweden´s new government will be. It depends on your comparison. If you compare it to my ideals they are obviously far from it. Don´t expect a liberal revolution. But if you compare it to other governments, my guess is that this government will lead Europe in reform.
It´s true that the moderates were...well...more moderate this time around. But on the other hand, the three other parties are more radical than they have been before, and will push in a more radical direction, for example centern wants more labour market reform and more open borders, folkpartiet wants lower taxes on high incomes and more free trade, and the christian democrats attacks the taxes on petrol and properties...
2. Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee thinks the defeat of Sweden's Social Democrats underlines how a bored electorate could easily turn to Cameron's Tories: Why Stockholm syndrome should terrify New Labour
The fall of the Social Democrats in Sweden reverberates around Europe, but sends particular shudders through those close friends of Goran Persson in Labour ranks. As strangers occupy Stockholm's governing corridors, here is a chilly memento mori for Labour.
...Here is Labour's fear. How can a good government lose power when the country is flourishing? With a rising growth rate of 5.6%, low interest rates, thriving manufacturing and exports Britain would die for, how did it happen? True, unemployment is a problem - but hardly worse than in much of the EU, while Sweden's welfare system is the envy of the world. Abroad, Persson wasn't hampered by two unpopular wars with no end in sight. So why?
...Sweden shows "the economy, stupid" is no longer enough to win. That is alarming to Gordon Brown whose claim to the top job is Britain's unaccustomed economic strength. The warning from Sweden is that when things feel so good, voters feel they can take a punt on a fresh new party. "Time for change" is always a potential winner: a natural democratic urge tugs voters towards throwing the bastards out after a while.
...Persson forgot his wise maxim: in opposition the left must behave like a government, and in government it must act like an insurgent opposition.
3. Andrew Brown, also of the Guardian, disagrees - he doesn't think the British government can learn from Swedish politics; there are too few similarities between them: Knowing left from right in Sweden
There are some big changes under way in Swedish society that we ought to know about, but they have nothing much to do with the outcome of this election. Big changes very seldom do follow elections there, because the governing classes in Sweden tend towards agreement about the direction of policy, even if they disagree about who should carry it out.
I spent six weeks travelling around Sweden this summer, talking to small, boring, unimportant people whose perspective on the election was rather different to Polly Toynbee's. If there has been a swing to the right, it is a deep slow one, which really reflects assumptions about human nature. No one cares about equality or solidarity nearly as much as they did in the seventies. The Social Democrats are now seen as at least as upper class and potentially corrupt as their opponents.
4. Mats Engström, editorial writer at the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, posts at Open Democracy on why We still love the Swedish model
So have Swedish voters indeed rejected their famous model? My answer is no, on two grounds. First, there is the tightness of the vote: the "red-green" side (the Social Democrats and its allies) received 46.2% of the vote against the four-party Alliance for Sweden's 48.1%. The close result will be reflected in the balance of power in the new Riksdag (parliament), where the left bloc will have 171 seats to the right's 178.