STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (SEPTEMBER 9, 2018) (REUTERS) – Voting began in Sweden on Sunday (September 9) in a tight election dominated by fears over asylum and welfare, with the populist, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats vying to become the biggest party.
The centre-left bloc, uniting the minority governing Social Democrat and Green parties with the Left Party, is backed by about 40 per cent of voters, recent opinion polls indicate, with a slim lead over the centre-right Alliance bloc.
The Sweden Democrats, who want the country to leave the European Union and put a freeze on immigration, have about 17 per cent, up from the 13 per cent they scored in the 2014 vote, opinion polls suggest. But their support was widely underestimated before the last election and some online surveys give them as much as 25 per cent.
Polling stations opened at 0600 GMT and close at 1800 GMT, with exit polls set be published by Sweden’s two main broadcasters around that time. Results from the vote count will become clear later in the evening.