Sweden’s center-right holds lead in election cliffhanger, results may take until Wednesday

Early results give the right-wing block a one-seat majority

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Denes Albert
Swedish political parties' tents are set up for an election event, in Lund, Sweden, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/James Brooks)

While the results are too close to call until the final vote tally, it looks like a right-wing bloc may have won the elections in Sweden, where mostly migrant-led gang violence has become a major concern in the past few years.

If confirmed, the leader of the Moderate Party, Ulf Kristersson, would become prime minister, while the right-wing anti-immigration Sweden Democrats would be the largest right-wing group and gain a first-ever direct influence on politics. However, it is unlikely that the Sweden Democrats would hold any ministerial positions, as a cordon sanitaire still exists on the party. Instead, the Sweden Democrats would in theory lend their support to the government in trade for tougher crime and immigration policies.

The right-wing bloc consists of moderates, liberals, Christian Democrats, and Swedish Democrats.

The race remains close, with a significant number of votes yet to be counted. The result of the parliamentary elections in Sweden is unlikely to be known until Wednesday, the leader of the Moderate Party, Ulf Kristersson, said on Monday morning.

“We still don’t know how these elections will end,” Kristersson said in a speech addressed to party members.

The right-wing bloc, which includes the Moderates, is currently set to win 175 of the 349 seats in parliament, one more than the 174 seats of the center-left party, announced the Swedish electoral authority, with 93 percent of electoral constituencies reporting results.

Like right-wing, anti-immigration parties in Germany, France, and Belgium, the Sweden Democrats have long been ostracized at the national level because of their roots in the neo-Nazi movement.

But the Sweden Democrats could be the big winners in Sunday’s national election, as polls suggest they could become the country’s second-largest party and the largest member of the right-wing opposition.

If the right wins, then the Sweden Democrats will probably gain influence, either as a supporting party in parliament or possibly in the government.

It would be both a political earthquake and at the same time a natural development of the last decade, when they turned from pariahs into a normal party in many ways, said a former center-right minister.

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