Tory win sparks worries over EU unity

5:48 min

David Cameron, whose Tory party won the UK general election, has vowed to hold a referendum on EU membership, but a British exit could have "great ramifications" for Europe and Sweden, Stockholm-based political scientist Nick Aylott tells Radio Sweden.

Aylott, who works at Södertörn University, told Radio Sweden that, based on the election results, there will likely be a referendum on the UK's EU membership within a couple of years. If the UK were to leave the EU, Aylott said that "for Sweden in particular, it would lead to the loss of a country that often thinks rather similarly to Sweden in policy matters."

Swedish politicians, on their part, expressed both delight and concern as it became clear that David Cameron would be returning to Downing Street with the Tories having defied polls and won the election.

Reacting to the results, Anna Kinberg Batra – leader of Sweden’s opposition conservative Moderate Party – congratulated Cameron on a strong election campaign, telling news agency TT that he has guided Britain through an economic recovery. She also said that Sweden needs the UK to remain "a strong friend of Europe".

Sweden’s Social Democrat minister for foreign affairs, Margot Wallström, congratulated the Tories on their win, but, speaking to newspaper Dagens Nyheter, she added that Cameron’s vow to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership is worrying and that she hopes the Brits will choose to remain in the EU.

Liberal Party spokesperson Birgitta Ohlsson told Swedish Television News that she was saddened to see what she labelled as “the total collapse” of her sister party – the Liberal Democrats. Ohlsson said that the UK is a "polarised country", where recent debates on migration, free movement and beggars have been "completely populist" and "repugnant".

Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt told Swedish Television News that the results were a "disappointment" and that he had hoped for Labour to win, and that the Tories' victory means that many poor people will continue living in poverty in the UK.