“The voters have seen that there needs to be a change in politics, and Skåne has been badly hit by immigration,” Jörgen Grubb, the party’s chairman in the city of Malmö, told the Expressen newspaper.
At the parliamentary level, the party dominated constituencies in the entire county apart from a strip along the west coast, and a south-western enclave in the city of Ystad.
“It looks almost like the cities are forts under siege,” the journalist Petter Larsson wrote in the Sydsvenskan newspaper. “The last villages in Gaul.”
In the municipal elections, it was biggest in eleven of the county’s 33 municipalities, taking the entire centre of the county, with the Social Democrats and Moderates still dominating on the east and west coasts.
“It’s not really that surprising, we are extremely strong in those municipalities,” Grubb told Expressen. “But of course it feels absolutely fantastic.”
The party did best in the market town of Hörby, where the party won 35.4 percent and the local representative Stefan Borg hopes to become the first Sweden Democrat mayor in Sweden’s history.
“We got more than double the Social Democrats in the local election and we are very happy with the result,” Borg told The Local. “We are the municpality with the highest proportion of Sweden Democrat voters in all of Sweden. We can always hope for more but, realistically, this is a super result.”
The party won just 16.4 percent of the vote in the city of Malmö, however, giving it the chance of helping oust the Social Democrats from power for the first time in 24 years, as it has promised its supporters.
With the support of the Sweden Democrats, the Moderates, Liberal Party and Centre Party have a one-seat majority in Malmö.
The Sweden Democrats’ Malmö councillor Magnus Olsson has pledged to back the Alliance parties without demanding any policy concessions which might force the Centre and Liberal parties to leave the coalition.
Niels Paarup-Petersen, the local leader of the Centre Party, told TT that he would never support the Social Democrats in the city.
“We are not going to join a Social Democrat-led regime in Malmö. That’s not going to happen. They have ruled for 24 years,” he told TT.
The ruling Social Democrats’ last hope lies in the 3,000 overseas postal votes which will only finish being counted on Wednesday.
There is still a chance that these could tip the party and its Green and Left Party coalition partners back into a majority, allowing them to keep control of Sweden’s third city.
But Henry Lindelöf, a local statistician, told Sydsvenskan that that last remaining mandate was probably more likely to be won by the Moderate Party, given the voter sympathies of overseas Swedes.
In Hörby, the town’s Social Democract Mayor has called for all of the other main political parties to form a coalition aimed at keeping the Sweden Democrats out of power.
“That’s the entire political establishement of all political parties ganging up to keep me away from the post of the Mayor,” Borg said.
“But I’m quite confident that she will not succeed in her plans, because it would be suicidal for some of the more moderate parties of the right to go into coalition with her. I don’t think that they will do that.”