Election results deadlock leaves Sweden facing political uncertainty

Far-right, anti-immigrant party made significant gains from the last election in 2014

Jimmie Åkesson, far-right party leader, speaking to his supporters
Jimmie Åkesson, far-right party leader, speaking to his supporters

Sweden is facing political uncertainty as the two main parliamentary blocs both fell shy of a majority with the centre-left bloc having 40.6% of the vote and the centre-right having 40.2%, with the vote counting completed. 

The populist anti-immigrant party Sweden Democrats won 17.6% of the vote, a 5% increase from the 2014 election result. It is still below the 25% mark that was predicted in most polls but is a noteworthy rise compared to the centre-left’s fall to 28.4%.

The governing Social Democrats, led by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said the far-right movement “can never, and will never, offer anything that will help society. They will only increase division and hate.”

Jimmie Åkesson, Sweden Democrats leader, promised to wield “real influence” in parliament after the modest gains.

Stefan Löfven said that he would not be resigning and instead urged for a cross-bloc cooperation. The mainstream parties now have a “moral responsibility” to form a government, he said.

Negotiations and discussions will stretch out over the coming days as the political uncertainty looms large over the country.

While it has been widely reported that this Swedish election is a win for far-right populism, 82% of Swedish voters failed to cast their ballots for the Sweden Democrats who will, for this reason, have no formal part in the next government.

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