Fix Is In? Mail-In and Overseas Votes Could Overturn Right’s Narrow Lead in Swedish Election

The leader of the Sweden Democrats Jimmie Akesson delivers a speach at the party's el

While Swedish populists are celebrating their greatest electoral victory based on early results, mail-in ballots could change the tight race between the right-wing and left-wing blocs and real results may not be known until later this week.

Following Sunday’s Swedish national elections, the right-wing bloc of the populist Sweden Democrats (SD), the Moderates, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals, were ahead of the left-wing coalition led by the Socialists by just a single seat at 175 to 174. But the real results will likely not be known until Wednesday when overseas and postal votes have been counted, according to Sweden’s electoral authority.

Svante Linusson, mathematics professor and former Electoral Review Board expert, said the results of the foreign and mail-in ballots could change the results by as much as three per cent but told the newspaper Aftonbladet that the right-wing bloc still had an advantage.

Just 47,000 votes separate the two political blocs and, according to Linusson, the Socialists and the SD are the least likely to make gains when the results of the votes come in on Wednesday but added that it is unclear which parties of each bloc will benefit the most.

By far the biggest achievement of the election so far was for the populist anti-mass migration Sweden Democrats, who placed second overall, ahead of their right-wing bloc allies with over 20 per cent of the vote but behind the Socialists. SD leader Jimmie Åkesson celebrated the historic result on Sunday evening telling supporters, “Right now we are Sweden’s second largest party. It looks set to stay there.”

“I have already thanked everyone, but I have to do it again. We really are a big party today. I am so happy and proud of what we have done together to achieve this,” he said and noted that the party had transformed from a “small calculated party that others laughed at” to a party that can challenge all of the major parties in the country.

“If there is a change of power, we will have a central position. Our ambition is to sit with the government,” Akesson said and added, “What we see as best for Sweden is a new majority government with the Sweden Democrats as a base, for a new government in Sweden.”

The Sweden Democrats, who ran on an anti-mass migration policy during the campaign, were not the only party to see success. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Islamic Nyans party likely saw major success in many of the heavily-migrant populated areas of the country as nearly 30 per cent of voters in the Malmö no-go area of Rosengård believed to have voted for the Nyans.

“My spontaneous impression is that it is about profiling yourself as a party for Muslims and that you have then understood how to campaign in these groups, although I want to be a little cautious until we see the definitive results,” political scientist Anders Sannerstedt said.

“We do not know how Nyans ran their election campaign or what paths they have taken to reach the voters. The opinion polls haven’t really captured that,” he said and added that the party may have taken votes from the Socialists in certain areas. According to Aftonbladet, the party may win as many as two local mandates in the city of Malmö, a major breakthrough.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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