The Red-Greens (Swedish: De rödgröna) was a coalition of red-green political parties in Sweden, publicly launched on 7 December 2008, largely based on the Norwegian ruling Red-Green Coalition. It consisted of the three parties in the Riksdag (Parliament of Sweden), sitting in opposition to the Alliance coalition government. The parties, which faced the voters as three separate parties in the 2010 general election, aimed to reach agreement on significant areas of policy before the election. The parties aimed to achieve a majority at the following Swedish general election on 19 September 2010, in the unsuccessful bid to form a coalition government. The Red-Green pact was put to a pause on 26 October 2010, and completely dissolved (according to a spokesperson for the Green Party) on 26 November.
The coalition consisted of three parties;
- The Social Democrats led by Mona Sahlin, a social democratic party which had 130 of 349 seats in the Riksdag before the 2010 general election.
- The Green Party represented by spokespersons Peter Eriksson and Maria Wetterstrand, a green party which had 19 of 349 seats in the Riksdag.
- The Left Party led by Lars Ohly, a socialist party which had 22 of 349 seats in the Riksdag.
The Red-Greens took their cue from Alliance for Sweden, the co-operation between four centre-right parties which is considered to have contributed to these parties' success in the 2006 general election. The cooperation represented a significant development since the Social Democrats, especially the party leadership of Mona Sahlin, previously have been sceptical about too close a co-operation with the Left Party, which was officially communist until 1990. The Social Democratic minority government led by Göran Persson before the 2006 election had much closer cooperation with the Green Party than with the Left Party.
In October 2008 a deeper co-operation between the Social Democrats and the Green Party was announced, and a common shadow budget for 2009 was presented. In December 2008, the Left Party was included in the co-operation and the Red-Greens was launched.
The Social Democrats lost 5% in comparison with 2006 elections, thus scoring their worst result since 1914.
The Green Party made a significant transformation from the smallest elected party to the third largest party during the term, overtaking the Left Party, the Christian Democrats, the Liberals and even the Centre Party.
Two political events are considered to have had a strong negative effect on public perception of the Red-Green coalition:
- In October 2008 Mona Sahlin launched the alliance between Social Democrats and Greens. The explicit exclusion of the Left Party resulted unpopular in the party's circle, and Sahlin had to change its policy and welcome the post-communists in the team
- In May 2010, six months before the elections and in the grim climate of the economic crisis, the coalition presented a shadow budget. Public opinion's reception was cold, providing a fatal blow for the coalition. The budget didn't appear responsible and competent, in comparison with the reigning Alliance government.
The coalition was planned to provide a sort of "division of labour" between parties in targeting the electorate. The Greens should have attracted young, environmentally aware, urbanites who would have traditionally voted centre-right; the Social Democrats would have retained their traditional electorate of middle-class voters. Polls following the elections proved that the coalition had in effect more distortive than beneficial effects. The Greens mostly attracted previous Social Democrat voters, while not affecting centre-right electorate. The Social Democrats lost supports of Northern Sweden voters, scared that Green politics may affect their ways of life, and of urban middle-class voters, who could not agree with Left Party views on taxes, economy and foreign policy and still mistrusted it for its Communist past. The Social Democrats remained attractive only for voters depending on the provisions of the welfare states.
- Kärrman, Jens; Stiernstedt, Jenny (8 December 2008). "Namnet är spikat". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 11 December 2008.
- Landes, David (7 December 2008). "Opposition parties to build coalition". The Local. Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
- Iversen, Ivar A. (4 July 2009). "Norskesuget". Dagsavisen. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- http://www.dn.se/nyheter/politik/det-borde-bara-ha-varit-vi-och-s-1.1216242, in Swedish
- Niklas Nordström, "The failure of Sweden's Red-Green alliance", The Local, 27 October 2010