Sweden’s centre-left Social Democrats have claimed victory in Sunday’s general election but they have fallen short of a parliamentary majority.
After polling 43.7 percent of the vote, leader Stefan Lofven said he will try to form a government but that will not include the far- right who have emerged in third place.
“Now we have to show leadership. Actions count, but also we have time for reflection. But Sweden will have a government that can rule and that will be without the Sweden Democrats having any kind of king-maker role,” said Stefan Lofven.
The strong showing of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats has taken many by surprise – they took nearly 13 percent of the vote which translates into 49 seats.
With them holding the balance of power their leader Jimmie Aakesson claims to be the party the Social Democrats will need to woo in the days of political horse trading ahead.
The main loser in the election was Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld and his Moderate Party who came in second with 39.3 percent after a voter backlash against trimmed welfare benefits and tax cuts for the wealthy.
Reinfeld said he would step down as PM on Monday.