Swedish voters head to polls in close parliamentary elections

Stockholm, Sep 11 (EFE).- Swedish voters went to the polls on Sunday for parliamentary elections that were expected to be a tight race between the ruling center-left Social Democrats and right-wing parties.

Recent opinion polls saw prime minister Magdalena Andersson’s Social Democratic party hold a razor-thin lead over the right-wing bloc.

The Social Democrats were followed by the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) in second place and the conservative Moderate Party third.

A dead heat outcome would see the 2018 election drama repeated when the main centrist coalitions fell short of a majority and negotiations to form a government lasted 134 days, a record in the country’s history.

The cordon sanitaire the parties have set up against the SD since it won its first seats in the parliament in 2010 is the reason why the Social Democrats have been able to rule the last two terms despite the center-right majority in parliament.

In the previous parliament, the Social Democrats and their environmental allies made a pact with centrists and liberals to break the center-right alliance that had been in place since 2004 in order to keep the SD isolated.

Some 7.7 million Swedes are eligible to cast their ballot at polling stations until 8.00 pm.

Counting of the votes is expected to be delayed because long lines have been registered to vote in schools in various cities, according to the Swedish election authority.EFE


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