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Bridging The Gap
Swedish election: Main blocs neck and neck as nationalists gain
  Monday 10 September, 2018
Swedish election: Main blocs neck and neck as nationalists gain

The Swedish general election has left the two main political blocs almost tied, with the anti-immigration party making gains on its previous results.

With nearly all ballots counted, the governing centre-left coalition is marginally ahead of its centre-right Alliance rivals, with around 40% each.

The nationalist Sweden Democrats (SD) have won about 18% of the vote, up from 12.9% in the previous election.

A protracted battle to form a working coalition now looks certain.

Both of the main blocs have refused to govern with the SD, although its leader said he was prepared to talk with all other parties.

"We will increase our seats in parliament and we will gain huge influence over what happens in Sweden during the coming weeks, months and years," Jimmie Akesson told a party rally.

He had hoped to gain the support of one in five, or even one in four, Swedes, which some polls had also predicted. However, the results were closer to one in six.

Other European countries have seen support rise for anti-immigration parties in recent years. Earlier this year, Italy installed a new coalition government run by the anti-establishment Five Star and the right-wing League. In 2017 the far-right Alternative for Germany won 12.6% of votes, and The Danish People's Party won 21% in 2015.

Who stands with whom?

Sweden has become accustomed to coalition governments and no one was expecting an outright winning party in this election.

The current coalition, headed by outgoing PM Stefan Lofven, is made up of his Social Democrats and the Green Party, and is supported in parliament by the Left Party.

On the other side, the centre-right Alliance is made up of four parties: the Moderates, the Centre, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats. It was formed in 2004 to counter decades of dominance by the Social Democrats.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45466174

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