The far right appears close to causing an earthquake in Swedish politics, the Sweden Democrats becoming the country’s second-largest party while the wider rightwing bloc that it leads edged towards a slim victory over the incumbent centre-left.
Exit polls on Sunday night at first suggested a narrow victory for the Social Democrats and their centre-left allies. But as the votes were counted the tally swung towards the right. With more than 90% of the vote counted, the right bloc of four parties had a share of the vote corresponding to 176 of 349 seats in parliament, with the left bloc trailing on 173.
A conclusive result may not be known until votes from Swedes living abroad are counted in the middle of the week, while the closeness of the race may yet complicate the formation of a working government.
The leader of Sweden’s anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD) early on Monday said the rightwing bloc of political parties was likely headed for victory following Sunday’s election for parliament. “Right now it looks like there will be a change of power,” Jimmie Åkesson said in a speech to party members.