The left and right deadlocked after the Swedish elections, and neither is able to command a majority. What might happen is uncertain, but what should happen is crystal clear.
First, no government should be formed on the basis of from the Sweden Democrats. Second, no matter how unpalatable it might be for the parties, some form of a left-right grand coalition is the only sensible option. Third, this grand coalition must prioritise confronting long-term structural challenges. These include housing, education, health and integration, as well as rising inequality.
Sweden is not the first, but the last of the Nordics to have seen a rise in support for the far right. Denmark was the first to succumb when the anti-immigrant Danish People’s party lent its support to a minority centre-right government in 2001. This same configuration runs Denmark today except that support for the Danish People’s Party has risen to 21.1% from 12%, even as the support for the governing Venstre of Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has fallen to 19.5% from 31.2%, leading to the absurd outcome that the government has only 53 seats in the 179 seat parliament.