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

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

With most ballots counted, the ruling center-left Social Democrats have 28 percent of the vote, trailed by the Moderates with 19 percent and the nationalist Sweden Democrats with nearly 18 percent.

Politicians in Sweden will now "need a lot of imagination" to form a government, daily Svenska Dagbladet wrote.

The Social Democrats have led a minority government with the Greens since 2014, with the informal support of the ex-communist Left Party to pass legislation. The Christian Democrats with 6.4 per cent (+1.8) made a great election sprint and the Liberal Party with 5.5 (0.1) showed little change.

The nationalist Sweden Democrats scored 19.1 percent, well above the 12.9 percent they won in the previous election in 2014.

Still, the Swedish election underscored a broader shift to the right in one of Europe's most socially progressive nations.

Earlier, the leader of the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, Jimmie Akesson, indicated he was ready for potential coalition talks, but challenged Kristersson to choose between seeking support from his party and PM's Social Democrats. "So we really have to solve it now".

Traditionally Sweden have only had two blocs fighting for their right to govern.

The Sweden Democrats want to slam the door to new arrivals, pull out of the European Union and significantly increase the rate of deportations.

The governing center-left bloc has a razor-thin edge over the center-right opposition Alliance, with roughly 40 percent each. Among other things, the party no longer advocates for reintroducing the death penalty or for limiting the adoption of non-Nordic children.

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. Before the recent refugee crisis, which brought almost 200,000 asylum-seekers to Sweden in 2015 and 2016 alone (the highest per capita number of refugees in Europe), Sweden's other parties had largely agreed on a liberal immigration policy.

The Sweden Democrats have been championing closed borders for years and want to severely restrict immigration and integration.

All traditional parties have shunned cooperation with Sweden Democrats, which makes the government formation unusually hard. And this wasn't just campaign speak.

Far-right parties have gained strength in elections in recent years in several European countries, including Germany and Italy.

For 70 years the Swedish political landscape was dominated by one strong political actor - the Social Democrats.

The potentially promising prospects of the far-right Sweden Democrats had many other Swedes anxious about an erosion of the humanitarian values that have always been a foundation of the Scandinavian country's identity.

Sky's Michelle Clifford, who is reporting from the Sweden Democrats' election party, said: "They have done well, but the aspirations from the polls was that they would be the second largest, but that doesn't seem so".

But Kristersson - despite calling for Lofven to resign - dismissed any talk of a deal with the far right.

The Sweden Democrats only hope to get any influence in the Swedish Government is if the centre-right bloc would form a new coalition with the anti-immigration party. "I think that the biggest bloc should get it, but they need to have some form of cooperation".

"The Alliance have already gone out and locked themselves up in a position", she said.

And in a Trumpian campaign tactic specifically created to enrage Sweden's Europhilic establishment, the Sweden Democrats have called for a referendum on European Union membership: Swexit .

Sweden's national election commission says an updated preliminary result is expected Wednesday that will include votes from overseas and early votes. "Nothing will get done, people will get anxious". "That is to go back in history".

That is kind of confusing for a lot of people, to say the least.

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