Sweden joins Europe's move to right over migration backlash

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND  AFP  Getty Images

For those predicting a decisive right-wing triumph, the ultimate result didn't quite live up to the hype.

While the results also fell short of leader Jimmie Akesson's predictions of 20 per cent of the vote or more, he told a party rally it was nevertheless the victor of the election.

Instead, Sunday's results effectively provided no clear victor and no convenient or simple narrative to explain the shifts underway in Swedish politics.

Partial results, with some 80 per cent of districts counted, showed the ruling centre-left Social Democrats and Greens and their Left Party parliamentary allies winning 40.6 per cent of the vote, while the opposition centre-right Alliance had won 40.1 per cent.

It would have to either make policy concessions in exchange for the Sweden Democrats' support or offer key positions on parliamentary committees that draft legislation.

The Social Democrats won 28.4% of votes, down 2.8 points from the 2014 elections, their worst score in a century.

The Moderates - the biggest party in the Alliance - are not interested in co-operating with the Social Democrats and any such deal would also raise questions about democratic accountability. The poll gave the party 19.2 percent of the vote. "We won't mourn, we will organize ourselves", he said. "So we really have to solve it now".

A new Swedish government looked set to tighten rules on migrants after an insurgent populist right party emerged from elections as potential kingmakers.

Addressing supporters after more than four-fifths of ballots were counted, party leader Jimmie Akesson said the victory was in the number of seats the party gained in the national assembly, the Riksdagen. What is preventing the traditional conservative parties in Sweden from working with them to form a government? He's also worked hard to gentrify a party that has its roots in Sweden's white supremacist movement, drawing in more voters.

Novak Djokovic 5-3 Juan Martin Del Potro in first set
The sixth seed survived three break points in the following game, an epic that lasted more than 20 minutes, in a pivotal moment. Djokovic was soon 3-1 up in the second set before Del Potro carved out his first break point of the match to level at 3-3.

In Sweden, the record levels of asylum seekers in 2015 magnified worries about a welfare system that many voters already believe is in crisis, even though the numbers of refugees arriving have fallen sharply since then.

The Sweden Democrats, meanwhile, are celebrating their ascent after rising from obscurity a little over a decade ago to a position of incontestable political influence today. "The Sweden Democrats, they've divided people up into us and them". And this wasn't just campaign speak.

Sweden's national election commission says an updated preliminary result is expected Wednesday that will include votes from overseas and early votes. The mainstream parties might well have avoided mentioning immigration at all.

Adin, who did not vote despite being eligible to do so, said he had the opposite concern, that the Sweden Democrats would in fact gain influence.

Analysts said that the most likely outcome was a centre-right alliance forming a minority government, with backing from the radical right.

Among the available options are the Alliance breaking with its previous stance and negotiating an arrangement with the Sweden Democrats, a complete breakdown of the two existing blocs with some form of coalition negotiated between them, or one (or more) parties within the existing blocs opting to change sides - they note that there has been speculation in the past that the Centre Party could be open to switching to the left.

The Sweden Democrats, led by Jimmie Akesson, links the country's rising crime rate to immigration, but official figures can't prove any correlation.

But since neither of the established political blocks are willing to form a government reliant on the support of The Sweden Democrats, the election is without a clear result. They're not a very old party, they were only formed at the end of the eighties, and they have roots in overtly racist, Neo-Nazi organisations.

He sparked an outcry during a televised debate on Friday when he said foreigners had more difficulty finding jobs "because they're not Swedes".

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