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The Right Prepares to Seize Power in Sweden after Decades of Social Democratic Rule

Right wing prepares to take power in Sweden after decades of social democratic rule

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THE RIGHT-WING opposition leads Sunday’s Swedish general election tally by eight-tenths of a percent and one seat ahead of the center-left of Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, with 95 percent of the electoral districts counted.

The right-wing won 49.7% and 175 seats against 48.8% and 174 mandates for the center-left, according to the latest update from the Electoral Authority on Monday, with 334 districts still to be counted.

The Social Democratic Party, which has dominated Swedish politics in the last century, would repeat as the most voted party with 30.5%, two points more than in 2018; it is followed by the right-wing Sweden Democrats (SD), with 20.7%, three points more.

The Moderate Party (conservative), of opposition leader Ulf Kristersson, would drop to third place with 19.1%.

The Electoral Authority had already warned yesterday of possible delays in the recount due to the long queues registered in some polling stations because of a legal change made in 2019 on the placement of ballots inside the premises.

The first preliminary result will not be ready until this Wednesday or Thursday, when the votes from abroad and the early votes sent by mail within the deadline, but which did not reach the constituencies on Sunday, will also be counted.

The gap between the two blocs is about 47,000 votes, according to calculations by public television SVT.

The Electoral Authority has sent 160,517 ballots to Swedes living outside the country this year, although only about 40% tend to vote and, traditionally, the traditional right-wing parties tend to receive more support.

The overseas vote has not historically had much influence on the final election result either, with the exception of 1979 when it swung the victory to the right, after only 8,500 votes separated the two blocs in the election night tally.

Both the Social Democrat Andersson and the conservative Kristersson were cautious early this morning in their statements pending a definitive result, although the latter showed his willingness to “lead” the change.

The 2018 legislative elections were already a drama, with only one seat in favor of the government bloc, a week of waiting to have a definitive result and 134 days of negotiations to form a government (record in Sweden), after a pact with two forces of the center-right bloc.

Conservatives, Christian Democrats and Liberals have long accepted to negotiate with the SD, even if it is not part of a government, a position that may be compromised by the rise of that party and its status as the most voted force within the bloc.

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