A preliminary result was released on Thursday afternoon after all the votes had been counted, but these must now be recounted and double-checked, as is standard procedure in Swedish elections.
The official final result had been expected on Friday, with the Swedish Election Authority initially saying it could be released even earlier. On Friday morning however, the authority said that the final result had been delayed and was likely to be announced on Sunday.
“It is extremely important that we are able to ensure that Sweden gets a correct election result,” Anna Nyqvist from the Swedish Election Authority said on Friday, in a statement which admitted the procedure had taken longer than estimated.
The final step currently taking place is the recount by county councils. Some of these have already completed their counts, but the larger counties — Stockholm and Västra Götaland — require more time.
The delay is due to a range of factors including a high turnout and an increase in the number of voters who went to the polls before election day (the Swedish system allows 'early voting' at a number of polling stations) and who did so closer to election day than in previous years.
The preliminary results were extremely close, with the centre-left red-green bloc (made up of the Social Democrats, Green Party, and Left Party) on 144 seats in total, while the centre-right Alliance (made up of the Moderate Party, Centre Party, Christian Democrats and Liberal Party) had 143. The far-right Sweden Democrats had won 62 seats.