Social Democratic Party sets sights on 2014
As the Social Democratic Party conference gets underway in Gothenburg today, its leadership is expected to face stiff opposition to proposals to allow private firms to continue making profits in healthcare and schools.
The party is meeting to decide on its policies ahead of the 2014 General Election and 2,000 motions will be debated.
Several members from the left of the party want to see an outright ban on private sector companies making profits from publicly funded schools and hospitals. The leadership wants to limit profits and increase regulations on companies.
Political analysts see this conference as crucial to the future of the party which suffered its worst election defeat ever at the last general election in 2010.
On Thursday, the party’s interim leader Stefan Löfven will be formally elected as party head and will hold his first major speech.
Since the political fiasco surrounding his predecessor Håkan Juholt, who was forced to resign last year following a series of gaffes, Löfven has kept a low profile despite increasingly positive opinion poll ratings for the party.
Swedish Radio’s political commentator, Tomas Ramberg, told the P1 Morgon news program that Löfven's strategy is not to win the next election but to allow the centre-right wing Alliance to lose it.
“The best way for him to do that is to stick his neck out over as few issues as possible,” he said.
“The Social Democrats want most of all to be the best when it comes to jobs – exactly what the Alliance managed to do in 2006. The Alliance has serious problems, not least with unemployment. So the strategy can succeed.”