Earlier, two exit polls had given the left-wing bloc a slim lead.
The Moderates leader Ulf Kristersson, who is challenging Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson for the post of prime minister, and two other smaller right-wing parties have for the first time tied up with the anti-immigration and nationalist Sweden Democrats, which looked set to post their best election score yet.
The far-right party was seen garnering around 20.7 percent of votes which, if confirmed, would for the first time make them the country’s second-biggest
party, overtaking the Moderates, the traditional leaders of the right-wing bloc.
The atmosphere at the Moderate Party’s election vigil, which was somewhat depressed after exit results gave the left-wing parties a small lead, has become increasingly more upbeat as the results have come in, with whoops and applause with every new update on SVT and TV4.
“As we have counted up more and more districts, our result has slowly ticked up which means that there are a few more smiles about,” Maria Malmer Stenergard, the party’s migration spokesperson, told the TT newswire.
“The difference is getting less and less,” agreed Gunnar Strömmer, the party’s General Secretary. “I guessed earlier in the evening that it would be close, now it’s even tipped over.”
With 85 percent of the districts counted, the Moderate Party is now on 19 percent, only just below it’s 2018 election result, and far ahead of the 16 percent the party had in the first poll of the evening on TV4.
“It’s very close, which we knew from the start,” said the Social Democrats’ Social Insurance Minister Ardalan Shekarabi. “We are extremely proud of our election campaign. We will see how it ends. It can be that it comes down to the very last election district.”
One by one, the party leaders have come out to make their speeches, but by midnight neither Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson, nor Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson had come down to join their party’s vigils.
“Right now, we’re moving towards to change in government,” exclaimed Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch, as she started her speech, calling the campaign a “nail-biter”, while admitting that her own party’s result appeared to have been disappointing.
“What an election campaign!” Johan Pehrson, leader of the Liberal Party, said, as he greeted his activists. “We came back. We were out for the count, and we came back.”
He said that he didn’t think the election result would be clear until the next day.
“We are a big party today, for real!” exclaimed Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson as he bounded onto stage to jubilant chants of ‘Jimmie Akersson tra-la-la-la-la!’.
He said it would not be clear if there would be a new government until early next week, but he said that if Ulf Kristersson became prime minister, his party would seek to be part of the government.
What is clear is that if there is a change in power, we will have a central position in the new government. Our ambition is to be part of the government,” he said.