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These results were predicted, as were the subsequent talks among the parties.

Still, their result looked set to fall short of their own leaders' predictions of a vote of 20 per cent or more.

Instead, Sunday's results effectively provided no clear victor and no convenient or simple narrative to explain the shifts underway in Swedish politics.

The Sweden Democrats, a party founded by white supremacists, rose to 17.8 per cent from 12.9 per cent in the last election four years ago, in effect securing the balance of power. They kept Sweden out of World War One, out of World War Two, and out of the Cold War.

In a previous EUROPP article, Anders Hellström has assessed the importance of the Sweden Democrats for the 2018 election, and how their policies on immigration and crime have influenced the other major Swedish parties.

The Moderates - the biggest party in the Alliance - are not interested in co-operating with the Social Democrats and any such deal would also raise questions about democratic accountability. In 2010, the year it first entered parliament, it won only 5.7 percent of the vote.

"This government we have had now. they have prioritised, during these four years, asylum-seekers", Akesson said, giving an exhaustive list of things he says the government has failed to do for Swedish society because of migrants. "So we really have to solve it now".

Like its far-right counterparts across Europe, the Sweden Democrats party has taken pains to move into the mainstream and, to a certain extent, tone down its rhetoric in order to appeal to a broader swath of the electorate.

"For me, the Sweden that he (Jimmie Akesson) wants to see ... that is not our future", Nuur said.

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Yesterday's Communist Party of Sweden is now known as the Left Party-a perfectly respectable party that campaigned in alliance with the Social Democrats.

Other parties vowed they would not work with the far right to form a coalition government.

On Monday, Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson invited the Moderates and Christian Democrats to formal negotiations but was quickly rebuffed.

Lofven eventually said Sweden no longer could cope with the influx and immigration laws were tightened. And this wasn't just campaign speak.

But embracing more conservative policies backfired ― support for the Social Democrats dropped even further, and one member of the Swedish parliament resigned from the party in protest. The mainstream parties might well have avoided mentioning immigration at all. "What I can exclude is any direct or indirect co-operation with the Sweden Democrats", Interior Minister Anders Ygeman, a Social Democrat said. "The Alliance will not govern or discuss how to form a government with the Sweden Democrats", he said.

The Sweden Democrats, who want to leave the European Union, won 62 seats, up from 49 in the 349-seat Riksdag where 175 seats are needed to form a majority.

Both the left-leaning bloc led by the Social Democrats and the center-right bloc have said they would refuse to consider the Sweden Democrats as a potential coalition partner. The government's finance minister suggested refugees seek another country in which to claim asylum, while Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced that the country would crack down on criminals, and the party declared that emergency border security laws from the height of the refugee crisis would be kept in place indefinitely. They'll "have to face the facts", Andersson said.

The result gives no party a clear route to forming a government, leaves the country politically fragmented and means that the ruling Social Democrats could potentially lose power.

The party with roots in the neo-Nazi movement has called the arrival of nearly 400,000 asylum seekers since 2012 a threat to Swedish culture, and claims they are straining Sweden's generous welfare state. More Swedes than ever split their ballot: 30% chose different parties at the local, regional and national levels.


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