The count of the overseas and advance ballots, as well as a full count of Sweden’s 6063 election constituencies continued feverishly all Wednesday and failed to give the result the Alliance would have wanted.
“The race is over for the Alliance,” said maths professor Svante Linusson at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm early on Thursday morning.
The count could have changed the balance of power in Sweden’s Riksdag and an overall majority in the end came down to a couple of dozen votes in Gothenburg and Dalarna.
The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) would have needed a further 19 votes in Gothenburg to claim a seat awarded to the Social Democrats in the preliminary election night count. In Värmland the margin was even smaller – just seven votes.
The Centre Party picked up one seat in Dalarna, which means the Alliance is only two seats from an overall majority.
There remains a theoretical possibility that the Alliance could take two national ‘adjustment seats’ – seats allocated on a national basis. But according to Svante Linusson, there is virtually no chance of this happening.
With such small margins the result could be subject to an appeal to the Election Review Board which is housed in the Riksdag. The board can take up to some time in November in order to make its decision.