Prime Minister's tour marks 2018's campaign start

3:34 min

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven will visit rural, working-class towns and vulnerable areas this week, in what one political scientist called a kickoff for the 2018 election.

The five-day tour will take Löfven from Lessebo municipality in the southeast on Monday, up to Härjedalen municipality in the northwest before finishing in Upplands Bro municipality just outside of Stockholm on Friday. 

Marja Lemne, a political scientist at Södertörn University, said the visits are an effort to reassure and shore up voters in these areas that previously were strong supporters of the Social Democrats.

"The election campaign for 2018 starts now," Lemne told Radio Sweden. "It's a very strategic move on his part."

Lemne said Löfven would have to guarantee his party hasn't forgot about these areas and offer up some economic strategies to create new jobs.

In a statement, Löfven said the tour is a way to gauge the pulse of the areas and learn more about their needs, especially from a business perspective.

"Everyone should feel they have a place in society, whether you live in an urban or rural, industrial town or suburb. No one should have to worry about welfare, their school or getting settled in and people should be able to run a business in Sweden. That's what I want to talk to people about during my travels," he wrote.