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Sweden's parties in tense wait

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18:47 CEST+02:00
After a marathon two year campaign, Sweden's politicians will soon know who the voters have chosen to form the country's next government.

Polling stations across the country close at 8pm, and all parties are insisting that this will be a close race.

Campaigning in this keenly fought contest continued to the last minute, with the leaders of the Alliance parties going out on the streets to pick up last minute votes. Prime minister Göran Persson opted to follow tradition by not campaigning on polling day, apart from giving a short interview on TV4 in the morning.

Many Social Democrats in Stockholm and in offices around the country broke into their campaigning activities to honour former foreign minister Sven Andersson, who died on Saturday.

This has been one of the closest election races in Sweden for a generation, with the Social Democrats facing an unusually united centre-right Alliance.

As well as voting in the general election, Swedes have been choosing municipal and county councils across the country. There have also been local referendums, most prominently in Stockholm over the city's congestion charge trial.

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