Sweden faces a political impasse after its mainstream center-left and center-right blocs virtually tied after the Sept. 9 general election, while the far-right party that neither wants to deal with made gains on a hard-line anti-immigration platform.
With nearly all votes counted on Sept. 10, the ruling center-left Social Democrats and Greens and their Left Party parliamentary ally had 40.6 percent of the vote for a one-seat advantage in the 349-seat Riksdag. The opposition center-right Alliance had 40.3 percent.
The Sweden Democrats, a party with white supremacist roots, won 17.6 percent, about 5 percentage points more than four years ago. It was the biggest gain of any party and in line with conventional opinion polls but fell short of the 20-30 percent that party leader Jimmie Akesson had predicted.
Unless parties on the center-left and center-right break ranks with their blocs, it is likely to be impossible to form a stable government without some kind of support from the Sweden Democrats, who want a freeze on immigration. (Reuters)