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The far right is making gains in hotly contested elections

by SuperiorInvest

Once a fringe party shunned by others across the political spectrum, preliminary results showed the Sweden Democrats taking almost 21% of the vote.

Maja Suslin | Afp | Getty Images

A group of right-wing political parties have secured a narrow lead in Sweden’s general election, according to early results, and appear to be on track to defeat the left-wing bloc led by Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

Sunday’s pre-election polls initially predicted a narrow victory for Andersson’s ruling centre-left Social Democrats and their allies, although the count has since swung to the political right as partial results were released during the evening.

After about 95% After votes were counted on Monday morning, the right-wing bloc of four parties, led by Ulf Kristersson’s centre-right Moderates, had a total of 175 seats, with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats set to record their best election result to date. .

The four parties backing Andersson as prime minister, meanwhile, appeared poised to win 174 seats.

If these results are confirmed, it means that the right-wing group of parties won a parliamentary majority that could pave the way for the bloc to form a government.

The final result is not expected until Wednesday at the earliest, with postal ballots and votes from citizens living abroad still to be counted.

A total of eight parties (four on the right, four on the left) are running for seats in the 349-seat Swedish parliament, or Riksdag.

Sunday’s preliminary results indicate that the Social Democrats secured 30.5% of the vote, reaffirming their position as the largest party. But Andersson may struggle to hold on to power as the far-right Sweden Democrats make significant gains.

Sweden, a Scandinavian country with about 10.5 million inhabitants, has a reputation as one of the most progressive European countries. they are consistently among the happiest nations in the world.

The rise of the right

Andersson became Sweden’s first ever female prime minister last year.

Jonathan Nackstrand | Afp | Getty Images

The Sweden Democrats emerged from the country’s neo-Nazi movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s and have since tried to distance themselves from accusations of extremism. The party gained representation in the Riksdag for the first time in 2010 with 5.7% of the vote.

A gradual increase in national support then prompted the centre-right Moderate Party to cooperate with the Sweden Democrats in 2018. Kristersson’s Moderates previously ruled out negotiations with the right-wing party.

“A Tragedy in Many Acts”

Sunday’s preliminary results showed the Moderate Party with 19.1% of the vote, with leader Kristersson likely to be the right-wing bloc’s preferred candidate for prime minister.

“We don’t know what the result will be,” Kristersson told his fans. This was reported by the Reuters agency. “But I am ready to do everything in my power to form a new, stable and vigorous government for all of Sweden and all its citizens.”

Sony Kapoor, professor of climate and macroeconomics at the European University Institute, said via Twitter that preliminary results suggest the Sweden Democrats will become the country’s largest political right-wing party and potentially be able to choose the next prime minister.

“This is a tragedy in many ways,” Kapoor said.

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