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EXPLAINED: What happens on election day and when do we get a result?

It's only five days to go until Sweden votes, but what happens on the big day? We run through the main events.

EXPLAINED: What happens on election day and when do we get a result?
An early vote is cast in a sealed box at a polling station in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

8am: Polls open (for your polling station’s exact opening times, consult your voting card).

8pm: Polls close.

8pm-ish: The first exit polls are usually released by Swedish television broadcasters around this time. It’s a good idea to take these with a pinch of salt, but since nothing else is going to happen for the next few hours, newspapers will jump at the chance to discuss them nevertheless.

11pm-ish: By this time, enough votes have been counted that we usually have a good idea of where the parties stand. But keep in mind that not only is this a very close election, but also, there are a lot of votes to count! Almost 7.8 million people are eligible to vote in the 2022 parliamentary election (around 270,000 more than in the 2018 election) according to the Election Authority and more than 8.1 million people in the regional and municipal elections. Sweden has a high voter turnout, with 87.18 percent of the eligible population voting in the 2018 election.

Midnight-ish: As the evening draws to a close, the party leaders will address crowds at their respective election night parties, and you can probably expect that the opposition parties will call on the prime minister to resign. The incumbent prime minister is usually the last one to take the stage, so try to stay awake until Magdalena Andersson announces her plans for the future.

One thing you need to remember is that although everyone will act as if we have a result at this point, it is in fact just a preliminary result as not all votes have yet been counted. Votes from Swedish citizens abroad and early voting ballots that didn’t make it to the polling stations in time for Election Day get counted on the Wednesday after the election, that is September 14th. 

Election officers take around a week to complete the final count of the votes after they’ve been counted and recounted, and the final allocation of seats in parliament may take up to two weeks. 

The coming month…

If Magdalena Andersson doesn’t resign, September 27th is the earliest day that parliament can hold their vote on forcing her resignation. In the meantime she leads a caretaker government.

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Sweden’s right-wing parties agree to bring back Norlén as Speaker 

The four parties backing Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson as prime minister on Sunday announced that they had agreed to keep the current Speaker, Andreas Norlén in place, when the role is put to a vote as parliament opens on Monday.

Sweden's right-wing parties agree to bring back Norlén as Speaker 

The parties won a three-seat majority over the bloc led by the incumbent Social Democrats in Sweden’s general election on September 11th, and are currently in the middle of negotiating how they will form Sweden’s next government. 

Sweden’s parliament meets at 11am for the official installation of the 349 MPs for this mandate period. The votes for the Speaker and three Deputy Speakers are the first item on the agenda, after which the parties each select their parliamentary leaders and then vote on who should chair each of the parliamentary committees. 

READ ALSO: What happens next as parliament reopens? 

In a joint press release announcing the decision, the parties also agreed that the Sweden Democrats would be given eight of the 16 chairmanships the bloc will have of parliamentary committees in the next parliament, and that MPs for all four parties would back Julia Kronlid, the Sweden Democrats’ Second Deputy Leader, as the second deputy Speaker, serving under Norlén. 

In the press release, the parties said that Norlén had over the last four years shown that he has “the necessary personal qualities and qualifications which the role requires”. 

The decision to retain Norlén, who presided over the 134 days of talks and parliamentary votes that led to the January Agreement in 2019, was praised by Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson. 

Norlén, she said in a statement, had “managed his responsibilities well over the past four years and been a good representative of Sweden’s Riksdag.” 

The decision to appoint Kronlid was opposed by both the Left Party and the Green Party, who said that she supported tightening abortion legislation, and did not believe in evolution.

The Green Party’s joint leader Märta Stenevi said that her party “did not have confidence in Julia Kronlid”, pointing to an interview she gave in 2014 when she said she did not believe that humans were descended from apes.

The party has proposed its finance spokesperson Janine Alm Ericson as a rival candidate. 

The Left Party said it was planning to vote for the Centre Party’s candidate for the post second deputy Speaker in the hope of blocking Kronlid as a candidate.