Sweden's nationalist party comes second place in elections

William Hahne vice chairman of the far-right

Note: The Left (V) is treated as part of the broad Red-Green bloc, but it is not part of the incumbent Social Democrat/Green Party government.

The governing center-left bloc has a razor-thin edge over the center-right opposition Alliance, with roughly 40 percent each. Although the country initially welcomed the new arrivals, moods quickly soured amid fears that the wave of people fleeing war and poverty could capsize Sweden's generous social welfare system. Voters might see the Sweden Democrats as the country's only opposition party.

Moderate MEP Christofer Fjellner predicted Sweden "will be governed by the Alliance... there are three blocs and then you sit in the middle and govern".

"Now we will gain influence in Swedish politics for real", Sweden Democrat Jimmie Akesson told a cheering crowd of supporters as the results came in.

And earlier today the right-wing populist party reached out to the Moderates and the Christian Democrats from the centre-right bloc - inviting them to negotiate terms if they wanted support.

Responding to the result, Spanish newspaper El País labelled the elections "unprecedented" and described the contest as a "vote between integration and xenophobia".

The Social Democrats and the Moderates have said they will not consider the Sweden Democrats, a party with roots in the neo-Nazi fringe, as a coalition partner.

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND via Getty Images Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven addresses an election campaign rally attended by Spain's prime minister in Enkoping, Sweden, on September 5, 2018.

Dragan Pau, 64, a builder taking a break from renovating a nearby apartment, said he doubted his party, the far-right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, had won the influence it had hoped for. For me, when he is saying that immigrants are not welcome to Sweden ... he is trying to spread hate between the people.

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Lengthy negotiations will follow to attempt to form a workable government. In the immediate aftermath of the result, many reactions therefore focused on whether the result was a breakthrough for the party, or whether it should rank as a disappointment given some polls during the campaign had put the Sweden Democrats as high as 25% of the vote, in first place ahead of the Social Democrats.

Ahead of the election, promising prospects for the Sweden Democrats had many Swedes anxious about an erosion of the humanitarian values that have always been a foundation of their country's identity.

In just eight years, Sweden Democrats have more than tripled their backing from the Swedish population.

Projections indicate that the Sweden Democrats, which has white supremacist roots, placed third in the parliamentary election today.

That is if other parties let them - as things stand now, the Sweden Democrats won't have any actual power.

The Election Authority said Monday it will perform another count of votes after Sunday's election, as is customary.

"The most likely situation will be that the Alliance will form a coalition together and try to seek cross-bloc support". Thus, some have argued , there is even a (very small) chance that Annie Lööf from the fourth-place Center Party, despite only having gotten 8.6 percent of the vote, could become the next Prime Minister - this is only due to the fact she would be the least objectionable candidate for the other parties. This would mean that migrants won't be able to stay unless they can prove that they can support themselves, enabling them to get a permanent residence permit. Many allege that immigrants were behind the massive auto bombing spree in August, which saw 160 cars torched.

But as Savage notes, that's not the case this year, in an unpredictable election where much of the vote has hinged on voter attitudes on the issue of immigration. Previous year in October, almost seven months after the March election, prime minister Mark Rutte pulled together a shaky coalition of four parties on a centre-right programme.

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