Sweden’s prime minister has won re-election but lost his majority. Frederik Reinfeldt becomes the first centre-right leader to be given a second term in what many see as Europe’s model of social welfare.
But his ruling Alliance coalition will now be governing as a minority, unless he can tempt the Greens away from their centre-left allies.
When the results were in, Reinfeldt told his supporters that he will not seek to bring on board the anti-immigration party, the Swedish Democrats, in order to keep control of parliament.
According to preliminary results, Reinfeldt’s Alliance won 172 of the 349 seats up for grabs, 15 more than the centre-left opposition.
Meanwhile, the other winners in the vote were the far-right Swedish Democrats, who will enter parliament for the first time with 20 seats.
As has been the case in several European countries, their criticism of Islam and anti-immigration stance has struck a chord with many voters.
It was a devastating defeat for the centre-left. The Social Democrats, for so long the driving force in Swedish politics, suffered their worst election in almost a century.