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Sweden - Far Right Party 'SD' Go Full Centrist to Maintain Position

Sweden Democrats Leader Jimmie Åkesson

In order to be, and remain, electable, Right Wing Parties have to soften their rhetoric, and often their policies. Having often risen on a platform of hate, they quickly realise that there usually aren't enough racists to keep them going.

And the Sweden Democrats, to the confusion and despair of their followers, have just reversed course on key policies they've held for years.

Leader Jimmie Åkesson has made statements on deportation and LGBT adoption that contradict the hard line his party is known for on these issues, prompting strong reactions from followers and fellow right-wingers.

Explaining in Svenska Dagbladet's SvD, when asked whether it was fair to believe that asylum immigrants should return home when they no longer need shelter in Sweden, Åkesson said ...
No one who has lived in Sweden will be forced to return to their home country, we have no policy for that.
And then, when asked why he doesn't believe that "two people of the same gender" should be adopting kids ...
In fact, we really do believe this now. We didn't believe it before, but we have become a big party today, and a lot of people have come from all parts of society.
He then stressed that the party may soon re-write its program to include support for LGBT adoptions.

Lucas Berggren of Världen Idag News wrote ...
SD have changed - or are in the process of changing - their footing in matters of same sex adoptions. These questions constitute a burden for the party that has other issues at heart. This may be worth thinking of for us conservative voters.
Many perceived this change of policy as a step back from Sweden Democrats' core values. The Swedish news outlet Samhällsnytt, which is popular among SD supporters, directed sharp criticism against Åkesson's U-turn.
The SD leader's response indicates a sharp turnaround within the party, from values and social conservatism to left liberalism, for which they previously slammed other parties. This includes immigration policy, where Åkesson now clarifies that SD will accept all previous waves of immigration and won't force anyone - except for criminals - to return to their home countries.
Dagerlind also noted a "diminishing resistance to the EU" from the Sweden Democrats, who have recently switched to a less EU-critical group in the European Parliament.

Inevitably - as night follows day - such softening on policy leads to splintering. Alternative for Sweden (AfS) is a new party founded by maverick Sweden Democrats who believe their mother party wasn't radical enough, and they immediately slammed the SD for ...
... once again betraying their voters, by making a U-turn on deportations and LGBT adoption.
The AfS, which has yet to get into parliament, vows to deport as many as 500,000 immigrants "not counting those leaving the country voluntarily."

SD's weekends used to be
like this. Photo from 2008.
The SD recently became Sweden's second-largest party with 21.9 percent of the vote, only 2 percent behind ruling Social Democrats.

Clearly, to stay in pole position, the Fascist past has to be dumped, and fast.

It's not too long since Swedish Democrats ran #Nazi-Themed Weekends for their members and supporters.

Like many Far Right Parties, electoral reality means attracting support across the board. There are only so many racist votes to chase.

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