Sweden joins move to right
Voters angered by immigration issue
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden has become the latest European country to have its political order shaken by a backlash against large-scale immigration, with voters giving a boost to a far-right party and weakening the more established ones.
Sunday’s election left the two rival blocs — a center-left group and a center-right alliance — with roughly 40 percent of the vote each, portending what is likely to be weeks of uncertainty and complex coalition talks before a new government can be formed.
The Sweden Democrats, which has roots in a neo-Nazi movement but has worked to soften its image, won 17.6 percent, up from 13 percent in 2014, for a third-place finish. That showing is not strong enough for it to lead a government, but it reflects how deeply that Sweden, famous for its progressive policies, is being transformed by migration.
The country that is home to the Nobel prizes and militarily neutral policies for the better part of two centuries has been known for its comparatively open doors to migrants and refugees.
Sunday’s general election was the first since Sweden, with a population of 10 million, took in a record 163,000 migrants in 2015 — the highest per capita of any European country.