Sweden’s right-wing opposition bloc edges ahead in election vote tally

Copenhagen, Sep 12 (EFE).- Sweden’s right-wing opposition bloc appeared to be edging ahead in Sunday’s general election vote count.

With 92 percent of electoral districts counted past midnight, the opposition obtained 49.7 percent compared to 48.8 percent for the center-left of the Social Democratic Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, and 176 deputies compared to 173.

Andersson did not concede defeat, saying results were too close to call.

The Social Democratic Party, which has dominated Swedish politics in the last century, looks to have again gained the most votes at around 30.5 percent, almost two points more than in 2018, followed by the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD), with 20.7 percent, three points more.

The center-right Moderate party of opposition leader Ulf Kristersson looks to drop to third place with 19 percent.

The very small gap between the two blocs, estimated at around 50,000 votes, will force the country to wait for the updated preliminary result on Wednesday, which will include overseas ballots and early mail-in votes.

Both the exit polls and the first districts counted pointed to a narrow victory for the Andersson bloc, but this began to reverse when the count exceeded 50 percent of the electoral districts.

In addition to the final confirmation of the count, the opposition faces another dilemma: who will lead a government?

During the electoral campaign, conservatives, Christian Democrats and liberals were open to making agreements with the extreme right, but not to it being part of a government, while SD leader Jimmie Åkesson has said that his party may make up a coalition.

The legislative elections four years ago were already a drama, with only one seat in favor of the government bloc after a week of waiting for a definitive result, a harbinger of arduous negotiations to form a government, which lasted 134 days, a Swedish record.

In the last round, a pact between the Social Democrats and their environmental allies with centrists and liberals was necessary, breaking the center-right alliance that had existed since 2004, to maintain the isolation of the SD, which cannot shake being born out of Sweden’s neo-Nazi movement in the mid-1990s.

The election campaign has been dominated by issues such as rising crime, immigration and the energy crisis. EFE


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