Ever since, however, the tide has turned again, and Europe's drift to the right, coupled with the ongoing demise of center-left parties, has continued. This after an election campaign in which the Sweden Democrats were routinely branded as "racist" and "neo-Nazi" by their opponents-and by the worldwide press. And this is, in part, dueto the advancement of the far right party The Sweden Democrats (SD).
Gains for the far-right are being blamed on voter fears of mass immigration.
This is significant; one could describe the founding fathers of the modern Swedish society as Social Democrats, and Sweden stands as the model case of the Nordic welfare state.
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While the result is a boost for the Sweden Democrats, the party fell short of pre-election predictions.
This is up from up from 12.9 percent and 49 seats in the 2014 election, the biggest gain by any party in Sweden's parliament, reports Reuters. "We need a cross-bloc cooperation", he told his party supporters.
Overseas votes, which could make a slight change to the outcome, have not yet been counted and the final result is not expected until Wednesday. Both his left-leaning bloc and the centre-right bloc led by The Moderates have said they will not ally with the Social Democrats.
Currently, Social Democrats leader and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven have a minuscule two-mandate lead over the centre-right opposition, with 144 seats against 142.
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Leaders of the four centre-right Alliance parties will meet on Monday with the goal of forming a new government, but without support from the Sweden Democrats they do not have a majority.
But while the populists may consider their 17.6 percent disappointing, after earlier polls had predicted they would finish in at least second place, analysts say the nationalist surge represents an alarming change in Sweden's political landscape.
The rise of Sweden Democrats has not been obvious to the establishment; otherwise, the phenomenon would have been taken more seriously.
At any rate, he said, it was time for Sweden's political parties to bring an end to their refusal to negotiate and form deals with the Sweden Democrats. SD has gained momentum as other established parties adopted their proposals and rhetoric. But on Sunday, the once-dominant party scored its worst election result in generations. That doesn't mean that mainstream media outlets should always attach the qualifier "with neo-Nazi roots" every time they mention the party. 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. Sweden's is one of Europe's few remaining left-wing governments and the country has taken in hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers since its last election.
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"It's an integration issue", Karl Ljung said at the same voting station. 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. Most notably, he's been an outspoken critic of the rising number of immigrants in Sweden. They'll "have to face the facts", Andersson said. Instead, it told a more subtle but increasingly familiar tale now seen across a variety of European parliamentary systems and perhaps further afield, too - that of increasing political fragmentation and the slow decline of dominant political parties. If he loses that, the speaker of parliament presents a new candidate to become prime minister.
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