STOCKHOLM — Sweden’s incumbent center-left government led by the Social Democrats appeared to have a slim advantage after a parliamentary election Sunday, a closely watched exit poll suggested, after a tightly fought election campaign dominated by the issue of rising gang violence.
The exit poll suggested the center-left bloc of Social Democrats, Left Party, Centre Party and Greens had secured 176 seats in the 349-seat parliament. The four-party, right-wing group — including the Sweden Democrats — appeared to have won 173 seats, the exit poll showed.
Such an outcome, if confirmed by preliminary results expected later on Sunday, would see Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson continue as prime minister and the far-right Sweden Democrats, who had surged in recent opinion polling, denied a first taste of direct influence over government policy, despite what appeared to be a strong showing at the ballot box.
Vote counting is now underway after polling stations closed at 8 p.m. local time. The final results could differ from the exit poll and small changes for any of the eight parties in parliament could be decisive for the ultimate outcome.