Swedish voters cast their ballots on September 9 in what has become one of the country’s most complicated elections. With votes still being counted, results show the country’s far-right and anti-immigration party Sweden Democrats could play a big role in shaping the next government.
The Sweden Democrats (SD) are expected to win 19.2% of the vote.
Described by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven as “racist”, the party held 12.9% of the ballot in the previous election.
As reported by BBC, neither the governing Social Democrats nor the centre-right bloc of parties are predicted to win a majority.
In fact, an exit poll by public broadcaster SVT suggested the centre-right Alliance won 39.6% of the vote, slightly more than the Social Democrats on 39.4%.
Liberal Party leader Jan Bjorklund and the Centre Party’s Annie Loof have repeatedly stated they will not go into negotiations with the SD.
SD leader Jimmie Akesson has argued that the high number of migrants taken in by Sweden is driving up crime and putting the welfare system at risk.
In response, Lofven accused the SD (linked for years to neo-Nazis and other far-right groups) of extremism and said that a vote for it was “dangerous”.
Even though Sweden’s economy is booming, there are many voters who are concerned that immigration could put a strain on housing, healthcare and welfare services.