Surprise, resignation as Finland reacts to Sweden's general election

Swedish politicians have abandoned the nation

Sweden ‘Swedish politicians have abandoned the nation

He has also promised to sink any government that refuses to give his party a say in policy, particularly on immigration.

The governing center-left bloc has a razor-thin edge over the center-right opposition Alliance, with roughly 40 percent each. Although Sweden has real struggles with regional inequality, social change and increasing violence, overall crime rates have dropped, the country is witnessing the highest economic growth in decades and income has increased across the board.

Sweden's economy is booming but many voters are concerned that housing, healthcare and welfare services have come under pressure from a wave of immigration during the 2015 migrant crisis.

Sweden is often held up as the paradigm of socialist democracies, and rightly so.

But the two blocs have never governed in tandem, and so far all other parties have shunned the Sweden Democrats.

This is up from up from 12.9 percent and 49 seats in the 2014 election, the biggest gain by any party in Sweden's parliament, reports Reuters. While the Social Democrats initially welcomed immigrants with open arms, party officials have recently hinted at support for restricting immigration.

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The Swedish election results are in, and the widely vilified Sweden Democrats have made a good showing-though not as good as the Swedish (and European) establishment feared.

Lofven's governing center-left Social Democrats won the largest share with 28.4% of votes cast, while the center-right Moderates took 19.8%.

Currently, Social Democrats leader and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven have a minuscule two-mandate lead over the centre-right opposition, with 144 seats against 142.

Sweden faced political deadlock on Monday after the far-right made gains in legislative elections whose result makes it tough to form a functioning government. That might explain why the Sweden Democrats didn't perform as well as predicted. Though Lofven has presided over an economic upswing that has fed a rise in employment, he appears poised to lead his party to one of its worst results since 1921, with the Social Democrats set to get around 25 per cent of the vote.

Hence the leader of the nationalist Sweden Democrats, Jimmy Akesson's claim, that he is the "kingmaker" being the third most popular party - but that's a simplified view.

Much more likely, however, is a government which still includes either the Social Democrats or the Moderates. That raised questions whether the parties might find a way for the far-right party to vote with the Moderates at least part of the time and helping to install a center-right leader in the prime minister's office.

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The SD party, which first entered parliament in 2010, has attempted to soften its public image in recent years in a bid to widen its support among the electorate.

The Election Authority said Monday it will perform another count of votes after Sunday's election, as is customary. Both parties are joined by a number of smaller fringe parties in forming their respective coalition blocs.

"It's an integration issue", Karl Ljung said at the same voting station. Many allege that immigrants were behind the massive vehicle bombing spree in August, which saw 160 cars torched.

Lofven eventually said Sweden no longer could cope with the influx and immigration laws were tightened. Among other things, the party no longer advocates for reintroducing the death penalty or for limiting the adoption of non-Nordic children. "It is clear that the claim that the far-right is on an inexorable roll and will devour everything that stands in its way is false", said one European Union official.

"What happens is that xenophobia, racism, anti-immigration ideas become more recognized and legitimate. because the big parties, the power-holding parties are jumping on them", said Emilia Palonen, an expert on populism at the University of Helsinki.

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