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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Sweden Election: Result Could Take Days as Vote Too Close to Call

Meanwhile, rising inflation and the energy crisis have increasingly taken centre stage

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

SWEDEN. Stockholm: Exit surveys initially indicated a victory for the ruling left-wing coalition, but later results suggested a narrow win for the right-wing alliance.

The far-right Sweden Democrats appear destined to overtake the Liberal Democrats as the second-largest party. Immigration and crime were vital campaign issues.

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All votes may not be tallied until Wednesday.
The national television in Sweden conducted an early exit poll just after voting closed, which predicted Ms. Andersson’s alliance of four left-wing parties would win by a slim margin, 49.8% to 49.2%.

The right-wing group was forecast to hold 176 of the 349 seats in parliament after 94% of the election districts were counted. Thus the left’s joy may have been premature.

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The ultimate outcome may not be known for several days because the race is so close until all votes, including postal and advance polls, have been tabulated.

Whatever the outcome, the far-right Sweden Democrats have made enormous advances and seem to have overtaken the Social Democrats as the second-largest party in the nation.

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Even if the right-wing group gets the most seats, Jimmie Akesson, its leader, is not expected to become prime minister. Ulf Kristersson, head of the Moderate Party, is likelier to fill that position, and the Sweden Democrats are hoping to join his administration.

Sweden to focus more on law and order

After a steady increase in shootings that unnerved voters, parties fought during the campaign to be considered tougher on gang crime.

Meanwhile, rising inflation and the energy crisis following the invasion of Ukraine have increasingly taken centre stage.

While the right prefers to focus on law and order issues, Prime Minister Andersson has benefited from the looming economic storm as businesses and households deal with exorbitant power costs.

Andersson is seen as a reliable leader and is more well-liked than her party.

Before becoming Sweden’s first female prime minister a year ago, Andersson served as finance minister for a number of years.

The only candidate, according to Kristersson, who could bring the rights together and defeat her.

The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, who sprang from a neo-Nazi organization at the end of the 1980s, were elected to parliament in 2010 with 5.7% of the vote and increased that number to 17.5% in 2018.

After losing the 2018 election, Kristersson steadily strengthened his relationships with other parties, and the Sweden Democrats are now more often regarded as being in the mainstream right.

Ulf Kristersson, the head of the moderate party, staged a significant change in Swedish politics in 2019 by opening negotiations with the long-rejected Sweden Democrats.

Over 80% of the 7.8 million eligible voters in the nation were predicted to cast ballots in this election, which had a high voter turnout.

Rising gang violence, problems with immigration and integration, and skyrocketing electricity bills have dominated the election campaign.

The violence, previously confined to specific areas, has now moved to public areas like parks and shopping malls, which has alarmed regular Swedes in a nation that has long been famed for its safety and calm.

Also Read: Swedish Polls Witness Close-Run Elections Marked by Energy Crisis, Gang Crime


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