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Sweden’s ruling center-left narrows electoral lead: exit polls

thehourlynews 3 weeks ago 0
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The Social Democrats, led by Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson, are expected to win a majority of seats in the 349-seat parliament amid a far-right surge.

The ruling left-wing Social Democrats, led by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersen, took a slim lead in Sunday’s general election, according to two exit polls, while a right-wing populist party had its best showing yet.

An exit poll published on TV4 credited the four left-wing parties with 50.6 percent of voters, compared to 48 percent for the four right-wing parties. A second exit poll on public broadcaster SVT gave the left 49.8 percent of the vote and the right 49.2 percent.

Both polls, published after voting closed on Sunday, also suggested the anti-immigration and nationalist Sweden Democrats could become the country’s second-largest party in the 349-seat parliament for the first time. They credited the party with 21.3 and 20.5 percent of the votes respectively.

Exit polls have margins of error and the final result will be known only after all the votes are counted.

Counting of votes is going on.

If the final results confirm the left’s lead, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersen, a 55-year-old former finance minister, will try to form a government with the support of the smaller left, center and green parties.

The Social Democrats have governed Sweden since 2014.

Sweden voted in national elections on Sunday, with immigration one of the polling planks.

Opinion polls had predicted a razor-thin lead for Prime Minister Anderson’s Social Democrats and a coalition left-wing bloc dominated by talk of rising gang shootings and rising electricity prices.

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The right-wing Sweden Democrats entered parliament in 2010 and have consistently won more votes with each election. The party’s fortunes have risen in recent years, particularly after the mass exodus in Europe’s crisis year of 2015.

The party has its roots in the white nationalist movement, but several years ago it began to weed out extremists. Despite its rebranding, voters have long found it unacceptable and other parties have shunned it. He is changing.

Polls predict the Sweden Democrats, which won 13 percent of the vote in 2018, will become the second-largest party in parliament with nearly 20 percent on Sunday. That would put him behind only the centre-left Social Democrats.

Voter turnout was expected to be high, with more than 80 percent of the country’s 7.8 million eligible voters expected to vote.

Supporters of the Sweden Democrats react to the results of exit polls during the party's election watch at the Elite Hotel Marina Tower in Nika near Stockholm, Sweden on September 11, 2022. [TT News Agency/Stefan Jerrevang via REUTERS]
Supporters of the Sweden Democrats react to the results of exit polls at the party’s election watch at the Elite Hotel Marina Tower in Naka, near Stockholm. [TT News Agency/Stefan Jerrevang via Reuters]
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