Sep 10, 2018

Sweden's electoral indecision

Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images

Sweden's Social Democrats, who led the previous government with a center-left coalition, had their worst election performance since World War I, but are neck-and-neck with a center-right coalition led by the Moderate Party.

What to watch: The far-right Sweden Democrats, who came in third, will likely be cut out of any forthcoming coalition, but will still hold enough seats to sway decisive votes in parliament.

  • Notable, from populism expert Cas Mudde: "Voter streams of #SwedenDemocrats show that they held on to almost all its 2014 voters and won almost exclusively, and equally, from [the Social Democrats] and [Moderates]."

Summing it up, via Politico's Brussels Playbook: "In other words, there’s no winner. The coming weeks will be a Choose Your Own Adventure route to minority government. IKEA doesn’t provide a manual for that sort of construction."

The big picture: The buzzword among analysts today has been "fragmentation," the fact that — across Europe — the biggest political parties are getting smaller and smaller political parties are getting bigger as more targeted options are presented to voters.

  • Worth reading: This Twitter thread from academic Sarah de Lange details the phenomenon and provides greater context.

Go deeper

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday, while Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 as of Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 49 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."