Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Swedish election: Nationalists 'make gains' in early exit polls

Swedish election: Nationalists 'make gains' in early exit polls

"Sweden is now on steadier grounds than what we could have feared before the election".

If results hold, the Sweden Democrats, a nationalist party with Neo-Nazi roots, will become the third-largest party in parliament, handing the governing Social Democrats a stinging setback. "Everything is about us", Akesson said.

Akesson told the crowd chanting his first name: "No one can take that from us".

Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's red-green left bloc now has a razor-thin one-seat lead over the centre-right opposition Alliance, with almost 200,000 ballots from Swedes who voted overseas still to be counted on Wednesday. "Then it is only natural to work across the political divide to make it possible to govern Sweden". The preliminary results made it unlikely any party would secure a majority of 175 seats in the 349-seat Riksdag, Sweden's parliament.

After an election that drew the eyes of the world on Sunday, Sweden faces a period of political uncertainty, with a new government not expected to form for weeks.

The Sweden Democrats, shunned by all the other parties since entering parliament in 2010, have promised to sink any Cabinet that refuses to give them a say in policy, particularly on immigration.

However, although these two blocs continue to be discussed in relation to the 2018 election, the arrangements are now far looser than they once were, in part because the rise of the Sweden Democrats has had an important impact on the Swedish party system.

Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson arrives at the headquarters of a Swedish television the morning after the general election, in Stockholm, Sweden September 10, 2018.

The poll projects that the ruling party received 26.2% of the vote.

The poll gave the party 19.2% of the vote.

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Candidates from the eight parties campaigned down to the wire on Saturday, targeting in particular the 20 percent of the 7.5 million eligible voters believed to still be undecided, according to pollsters.

The newspaper says such incidents have caused anxiety at balloting locations in Boden, Ludvika and Kungalv.

Concerns over immigration and the influx of migrants among European Union member nations played a key role in a number of other elections across Europe that saw far-right parties make a dent in mainstream majorities.

Le Monde has compiled a number of views from voters in Sweden on the importance of the election, with numerous responses focusing on the Sweden Democrats. Emilia Orpana said she and another party supporter were threatened by two young men who called them "damned racists".

Voters in Sweden appear to be split in an unpredictable general election that may turn into one of the most thrilling races in the Scandinavian country's history for decades amid heated debate on immigration.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has invited the opposition to talks aimed at a "cross-bloc cooperation", after his left-wing party failed to gain majority in Sunday's elections that saw anti-immigrant party making gains.

Akesson's strong rhetoric has shocked many Swedes since the country has a long tradition of helping those in need.

"Now we will gain influence in Swedish politics for real", Sweden Democrat Jimmie Akesson told a cheering crowd of supporters as the results came in.

But the far-right has presented it as a vote on immigration and integration, after Sweden took in more than 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015 alone, a per capita record in Europe.

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