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Sweden's far right fails to make expected breakthrough

SWEDEN’S far right failed to make the expected breakthrough in yesterday’s general election as mainstream parties’ support crumbled.

The nationalist Sweden Democrats attempted to claim victory after preliminary results of the election showed it polled 17.6 per cent of the vote, up from 12.9 per cent in 2014.

Leader Jimmie Akesson suggested the party were “kingmakers,” indicating he is open to talks to form a coalition government, but it is unlikely other parties would be willing to enter such a formation.

The election results were the worst for Sweden’s Social Democratic Party since 1908 though it remained the largest party in the Riksdag with 28.4 per cent of the vote, down from 31 per cent four years ago.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven dismissed calls from the main opposition Moderate Party for him to resign, warning that the election was a lesson which all parties must learn from.

The Social Democrat leader said that the Sweden Democrats were a party with nazi roots and would not offer solutions for the Swedish people, only hatred.

“We have a moral responsibility. We must gather all good forces. We won’t mourn, we will organise ourselves,” he said.

Results saw the erosion of the electoral base of mainstream parties, however the beneficiaries were not only the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats but also the smaller left-wing parties that opposed their toxic rhetoric, including the Left party, which has its roots in the Communist Party, which polled 7.9 per cent, up from 5.7 per cent in 2014.

Mr Lofven said the election marked “the end of bloc politics in Sweden” where coalitions are formed along the lines of the centre-left “red-green” bloc, dominated by the Social Democrats, or the conservative “Alliance,” dominated by the Moderates.

A period of lengthy negotiations is expected as the Social Democrats and Moderate Party both try to form a coalition government.

Final results are due later this week.

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