The Daily Telegraph

Swedish PM concedes defeat to country’s Right-wing bloc

- By Our Foreign Staff

SWEDEN’S prime minister has conceded defeat after a close-fought election, paving the way for the farright Sweden Democrats to help form a coalition government.

A handful of votes remain to be counted, but Magdalena Andersson, who became the country’s first woman premier last year, said the results showed the Right-wing bloc had won.

“In parliament, they have a one- or two-seat advantage,” Ms Andersson told a news conference. “It’s a thin majority, but it is a majority.”

She said she would ask the speaker of parliament today to relieve her of her duties as prime minister.

The Moderates, Sweden Democrats, Christian Democrats and Liberals had held a one-seat lead after Sunday’s election, but looked like winning 176 seats in the 349-seat parliament to the centre-left’s 173 seats, according to the latest figures.

The result still has to be officially confirmed, probably by the weekend.

The election marks a watershed in Swedish politics with the anti-immigratio­n Sweden Democrats, shunned by all the major parties when they first entered parliament in 2010, on the threshold of gaining influence over government policy.

Ms Andersson said she understood that many Swedes were worried that a party with roots in the white-supremacis­t fringe was now the country’s second largest. “I see your concern and I share it,” she said.

The Sweden Democrats look set to win 20.6 per cent of the vote, overtaking the Moderates, who got 19.1 per cent, as the biggest party on the Right.

Ulf Kristersso­n, leader of the Moderate Party, is the Right’s candidate to be prime minister.

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