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Sweden Democrats in record election

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18:16 CEST+02:00
The anti-immgrant Sweden Democratic Party is heading for its most successful election ever. With one day left until all votes are counted in the general election, the party has 2.78 percent of the national vote.

The party has also been successful in local elections, particularly in Skåne, in the south of the country. In the Skåne town of Landskrona, the Sweden Democrats have won over 22 percent of the votes counted so far. The Social Democrats in the town have said to Moderate and Liberal representatives that they are willing to discuss a grand coalition to keep out the Sweden Democrats.

Regional elections in Skåne have also left the Sweden Democrats in a potentially strong position. The centre-right Alliance wrested power of the regional council from the Social Democrats, but the four parties remain five seats short of an overall majority. Moderate Party politicians are therefore talking to the Greens to see if they can reach an agreement to cooperate, thereby incapacitating the Sweden Democrats.

Green representatives said they were taking the idea seriously.

"The situation is interesting and we could well start negotiations with the Moderates," said Bo Thunell, the Greens' political secretary for Skåne.

At the national level, the Sweden Democrats could still theoretically win seats in the Riksdag. Many districts in Skåne, where the party is traditionally strong, remain to be counted, meaning the party could technically pass the 4 percent threshold necessary to enter parliament. More likely is that the party will stay above the 2.5 percent level, meaning it will qualify for state support.

"It looks at the moment like they are going to pass an important threshold," said Mikael Giljam, professor of political science at Gothenburg University.

Among the Sweden Democrats' policies that concern opponents are proposals to encourage immigrants to return to their countries of origin. This, say the Sweden Democrats, would allow Sweden to become a "homogenous society."

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