Reinfeldt and Persson predict close race

One of them will be prime minister on Monday. For the other, devastation awaits. With Sunday’s election still too close to call, the two men who hope to be Sweden’s prime minister on Monday have been out in the towns and cities trying to snap up last-minute votes from undecided voters and to give their supporters a boost.

Prime minister Göran Persson started the day outside department store Åhléns in central Stockholm. Despite fresh polls showing the Alliance strengthening its lead, Persson said he didn’t expect either side to sail to victory

“It will be a photo-finish,” he told supporters

“Everything now hangs on mobilising now. Our voters must go out and vote – if they do, we’ll win the election,” he said.

He also praised the Green and Left parties, with whom he is expected to govern if he wins on Sunday. He said he thought they had made a good final sprint in the election campaign.

In his final campaign speech in Gothenburg on Saturday afternoon he repeated his warnings that an Alliance government would mean a whole new system in Sweden, and said they would attack the unemployed.

Persson’s rival for the job of prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, addressed supporters and shoppers in Västerås, west of the capital. Reinfeldt’s Moderate Party and its allies need 300 more votes than in 2002 to win a majority in Västerås town council, and are about the same number of votes away from another seat in the Riksdag for Västerås constituency.

“My view is that it’s still close. I will continue campaigning right up until 8 o’clock tomorrow evening, when polls close” he told news agency TT.

“The fact that it’s so close in the Riksdag elections and the local elections shows how important it is to keep travelling until the last minute and encourage the local election workers to give it one last push,” he said.