The leader of Sweden’s incumbent Social Democrats conceded defeat in the country’s knife-edge election on Wednesday, handing victory to a loose bloc of rightwing parties led by the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD).
The prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, called a press conference at which she accepted defeat, while pointing out that the Social Democrats remained Sweden’s largest party with more than 30% of the vote, and that the majority in parliament for the right bloc was very slim.
When postal votes and those of citizens living abroad were counted on Wednesday, a loose coalition of the SD and the three centre-right parties edged ahead to win a majority of three in the parliament of 349 seats.
There is no formal agreement between the SD and the Moderates, Christian Democrats and Liberals about how they will govern together, although the centre-right parties have said they will not countenance ministerial positions for the far right.
However, the SD’s strong showing, making it Sweden’s second largest party – and the largest on the right with more than 20% of the poll – puts it in a strong position to extract concessions in return for its support in parliament.
“Now the work begins to make Sweden good again,” the SD leader, Jimmie Åkesson, wrote on Facebook.