New year, no government
After four months of political deadlock following elections, Sweden entered the new year without a new government. Speaker Andreas Norlén said in December that at least one more attempt—and maybe two—to form a new government would be made in January.

“I have talked to Stefan Löfven again (Social Democrat) and will talk to Ulf Kristersson (Moderaterna) as well,” Norlén said in a press release in early January. “As mentioned earlier, I will receive more formal feedback on January 10. On the same day, Valmyndigheten (the Election Authority) will also report to me regarding the practical conditions for an extra election. I will hold a final round of discussions on January 14 before my proposal for prime minister is presented to the Riksdag, according to the dates I have previously announced.”


Depending on what happens, a new election might be called, according to Sweden’s Constitution. Norlén has said the leaders of Sweden’s largest and second largest parties (the Social Democrats and the Moderates) still have the best chances at forming governments; all attempts at forming a government have been without the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats. Other parties have refused to cooperate with the party despite its increased vote in the election.

Here’s the most recent timeline so far:
December 28: Speaker Andreas Norlén talked to both Stefan Löfven and Ulf Kristersson on the phone about their respective outlooks on the formation of a government.
January 4: A second round of discussions with the M and S leaders preceded the above quoted press release.
January 10: Norlén first meets Löfven and then Kristersson for final discussions before making his decision about who the third prime ministerial vote will be for.
January 14: According to the timetable, the speaker will present a proposal on a new prime minister to the Riksdag.
January 16: A third prime ministerial vote will be held on this day. (Both Kristersson and Löfven have already been rejected by the parliament, Riksdagen. ) The party leader debate that should have been held on this day is moved to January 30.
January 23: Unless a prime minister can be elected January 16, a fourth and final prime ministerial vote could be held. If a prime minister is not elected today, a new election will be called.

The process of electing a new government:
1. The Speaker of Parliament is elected by the Riksdag after each parliamentary election. It is the task of the speaker to submit proposals for a new prime minister to the Riksdag. The present speaker, Andreas Norlén, was elected by parliament after the general election on September 9, 2018. The election resulted in a hung parliament, with the center-left and center-right coalitions each holding about 40% of the seats, and the Sweden Democrats holding the remainder.
2. The parliament has rejected first Kristersson (Nov. 14), then Löfven (Dec. 14) as prime minister. It’s important to note that the country is not without government: The Löfven Cabinet stays in power as a caretaker government until the Riksdag has decided on a new government.
3. In total, four prime ministerial votes can be held before an extra election must take place. According to the constitution, the new election must be held on a Sunday no later than three months after the fourth prime minister has been rejected.
4. A possible extra election would have to be held no later than Sunday, April 21.