Sweden faces weeks of uncertainty after close election

Sweden faces weeks of uncertainty after close election

The far-right Sweden Democrats had at times during the campaign appeared to have a shot at becoming the biggest party in the country, but in the end they placed third, capturing 18 percent of initial tallies of the vote.

An exit poll has indicated that Sweden's first general election since the Scandinavian country accepted a significant number of asylum-seekers was likely to have the centre-left party governing now as its victor, with an anti-immigrant party with white supremacist roots coming second.

That translates into a single-seat advantage in the 349-member Riksdag.

The Sweden Democrats took 17.6 percent of the vote, only slightly behind the establishment "centre-right" Moderate Party, who slipped to 19.8 percent. "And the Social Democrats and a Social Democratic-led government is a guarantee for not letting the Sweden Democrats extremist party, racist party, get any influence in the government".

"The big question is what the results will mean for Sweden's European Union policies", the conservative NCP politician tweeted.

"That's not going to happen, that's not how it is", Akesson said.

If the Sweden Democrats were included in the conservative bloc, there would be a large conservative majority in this election.

Prime minister and party leader of the Social Democrat party Stefan Löfven waves at an election party in Stockholm, on Sunday.

At the party's rally on Saturday, he strongly criticised Lofven's government for "prioritising" the cause of immigrants over the needs of citizens.

The hard part will be finding an ally to get into bed with.

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Respected political website Politico reports that a rise in violent crime, associated with the influx of immigrants and refugees in the country, contributed to a loss of confidence for the ruling party, the Social Democrats, in the Scandinavian country, seeing Stefan Loven's popularity dip for the first time in years.

After the arrival of 163,000 asylum seekers in 2015 - the most in Europe in relation to the country's population of 10 million, the center-left government had suspended some of its liberal asylum policies. That was shared in Brussels.

Svenska Dagbladet also reported that the far-right Alternative for Sweden party raised alleged election breaches by "shouting loud" on social media as soon as polls opened on Sunday.

Senior figures in the mainstream parties headed into meetings on Monday to produce a strategy for forming a government.

Lofven could hold on to power unless the Alliance accepts some kind of support from the Sweden Democrats, at a likely cost of the populists having more say over immigration policy. "No one can take that away from us", he said, according to The Guardian.

According to a report released by United Kingdom think tank Demos in August, which looked at the correlation between Swedish immigration and the EU's freedom of movement rules, voters have made a connection between these issues and the numbers of refugees entering the country.

The party has called on Ulf Kristersson, the centre-right Alliance's candidate for the premiership, to choose between seeking support from the SD for an Alliance government or to accept another four years of Lofven.

He said: "It feels like Sweden could take a step in this election that we won't be able to recover from very easily". "Do they go back on what they said about refusing any support from the Sweden Democrats, particularly if the Alliance isn't bigger than the left bloc, or do they go back on what they said about trying to remove a Social Democratic prime minister?"

Both sides laid claim to being best placed to form a government, although votes from Swedes living overseas are not due to be declared until Wednesday and these could still sway the final outcome slightly.

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