Sweden’s Social Democrat prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, accepted defeat on Wednesday after a close-fought election, handing the four-party right-wing opposition bloc victory and the first go at forming a new government.
Although the final count from Sunday’s voting had not yet been made known, she made an announcement, On Wednesday, that she would tender her resignation, saying:
“So tomorrow I will hand in my resignation as prime minister, and the responsibility for the continued process will go to the speaker”.
However, with 99.9 per cent of votes from all 6,578 voting districts counted, the four-party alliance led by Moderate party chief Kristersson was set to take 176 legislative seats, to 173 for Andersson’s four-party left-leaning bloc
Out of the Swedish parliament’s 349 seats, the right-wing opposition was set to win 176, thanks in part to a surge by far-right Sweden Democrats (SD), with over 99 per cent of districts counted. Speaking at a press conference, Andersson, Social Democrats party leader, noted that it was a “narrow majority, but a majority nonetheless.
Never before has a Swedish government relied on the support of the anti-immigration and nationalist SD, who became the big winners of the vote, by gaining more than three percentage points.
With 20.6 per cent of votes counted so far, the party emerged as Sweden’s second largest party behind the Social Democrats, which have dominated Swedish politics since the 1930s.
However, the post of Prime Minister will in all likelihood go to the leader of the Moderate Party, Ulf Kristersson, as SD leader Jimmie Akesson is unable to unite all four parties to head the government.