Daily Trust

SWEDEN: Election: Main blocs neck and neck as nationalists gain

The Swedish general election has left the two main political blocs almost tied, with the anti-immigration party making gains on its previous results.

With nearly all ballots counted, the governing centre-left coalition is marginally ahead of its centre-right Alliance rivals, with around 40% each.

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The nationalist Sweden Democrats (SD) have won about 18% of the vote, up from 12.9% in the previous election.

A protracted battle to form a working coalition now looks certain.

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Both of the main blocs have refused to govern with the SD, although its leader said he was prepared to talk with all other parties.

“We will increase our seats in parliament and we will gain huge influence over what happens in Sweden during the coming weeks, months and years,” Jimmie Akesson told a party rally.

He had hoped to gain the support of one in five, or even one in four, Swedes, which some polls had also predicted. However, the results were closer to one in six.