Sweden election 2018: Jimmie Åkesson, Stefan Löfven and Ulf Kristersson are fighting for victory
The 2018 Swedish general election is today and recent polls have shown huge variety in who could be the next to move into Rosenbad – the Swedish Prime Minister’s office.
An intense battle between the leftist coalition led by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Alliance led by the Moderates party’s Ulf Kristersson is expected to continue as the leftist coalition is currently right ahead of their rivals.
In addition, the Sweden Democrats led by Jimmie Åkesson is gaining ground for their eurosceptic and anti-immigration policies.
Follow here for live updates, news, pictures and videos of the Sweden election.
10.15am update: Prime Minister calls Sweden Democrats a ‘bunch of racists’
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told voters the election today is about decency.
He said: “This government is a guarantor for the Swedish Democrats who are an extremist and racist party not to have any influence.”
10.00am update: Sweden Democrats to double their vote since last election
Since 2000 the Sweden Democrats has doubled their vote at every election.
Right now the party is on track of becoming Sweden’s second largest party – but uncertainty and high variety in the latest polls show that the results could be anyone’s guess at the moment.
If the surge in support continues for the Sweden Democrats they are on track to become kingmakers in the next election.
9.45am update: Surge in support for eurosceptic Sweden Democrats
Sweden’s mainstream parties are facing a strong challenge from the right-wing Sweden Democrats who have made migration a key issue in this election.
Sweden has taken in the more migrants per capita than any other European country after they in 2015 welcomed 163,000 refugees.
The rise of the Sweden Democrats came as they tried to block the stream of refugees arriving in the Scandinavian country.
SD leader Jimmie Akesson said that his plan to take in fewer migrants would be regarded as “normal politics in the rest of Europe.”
9.30am update: Sweden Democrats to win leftist city Malmö
The Social Democrats have had power in the Swedish city of Malmö for 94 out of 100 years – but a local member of the Sweden Democrats have said that the far-right party will win the city – no matter the cost.
9.15am update: Sweden Democrats will become Sweden’s largest party according to the latest odds
Betting companies Unibet, Nordicbet and Betsson put anti-EU Sweden Democrats as the party to receive most votes in this election.
A spokesperson for Bettson, Robin Olenies said: “80 percent of our players have put money on Sweden Democrats as the largest party.”
9.00am update: Both left and right coalition short of a majority – Sweden Democrats may emerge as Sweden’s largest party
Sweden Democrats support is currently at 19.1 percent, well above the 12.9 percent they won in the previous election in 2014.
Those figures may be hard to ignore after today’s vote as the party may end up receiving support for a fifth of the Swedish population.
Sweden election 2018: Ulf Kristersson was named the winner of the last debate before the election
Saturday, September 8
9.00pm update: The audience pick Ulf Kristersson as the debate’s winner
The leader of the Moderate party received 3.65 point against Prime Minister Løfvens 3.18 points, after Saturday’s debate on TV4 according to Expressen.se
The public asked Kristersson and Löfven questions about climate challenges, health, the Swedish future and integration.
8.30pm update: Löfven: There should be no vulnerable areas in Sweden
A member of the audience asked the prime minister why Sweden does not do more to better integration policies.
Mr Lofven replied: ”We have started a decade-long work to counter segregation.”
He added: “One of Sweden’s promises is that there should be no vulnerable areas in Sweden. The Swedish society does not have the full responsibility but you can do so much to make sure people feel included.”
Sweden election 2018: Prime Minister Stefan Lofven may have to step down as the Sweden’s leader
8.15pm update: State channel boss to step down for the rest of the election coverage after liking SD-critical tweet
SVT boss Eva Landahl will, according to expressen.se, step down for the rest of the broadcasting of the election after she liked an SD-critical tweet.
Yesterday, she made the decision that the state channel should take public distances from statements made by Swedish Democrats and Jimmie Åkesson during yesterday’s debate.
Swedish newspaper Expressen.se has since reviewed Landahl’s Twitter account.
In June 2017, she pressed “like” on a tweet with the text: “LEADERS: Sweden Democrats is an absolutely unnecessary party”.
7.30pm update: Stefan Löfven vs Ulf Kristensson – this evenings topic
Army defense, retirement age, rural security, teacher shortage, Care Liability, environmental issues, local press survival, integration and finally a speech to the Swedish population from both the candidates.
7.15pm update: The final debate has started between Prime Minister candidates Stefan Löfven and Ulf Kristensson
The debate none of the Prime Minister candidates can afford to lose is underway.
The two are meeting in Lindkøbing Concert and Congress Hall, where the next 1.5 hours can be immensely important for the outcome of the Swedish general election.
Sweden election 2018: The poll show the latest result from today compared to the result in 2014
6.45pm update: Jimmie Åkesson is being criticised by previous party-leaders: “You’re full of C**P!”
Ulla Hoffmann, the previous leader of the Swedish Left party is one of many previous party leaders who is criticising SD leader Jimmie Åkesson for his statement on yesterday’s televised debate saying “immigrants can’t be proper Swedes”.
She said: “He is full of c**p. The others (party leaders) should have gotten up and left the debate.”
6.30pm update: Sweden Democrats: “Sweden is NOT getting safer”
Sweden Democrats is holding a campaign rally in Stockholm’s town square.
Swedes are crying “Jimmie, Jimmie, Jimmie” as the Sweden Democrat’s leader Jimmie Åkesson enters the stage.
The party leader was heard screaming at the crowd: “Who wants Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to resign?” in which they replied “Yes!”
He continued: “Sweden has never been safer, the others say on SVT (Sweden’s state channel), Sweden is not getting safer” SD leader Jimmie Åkesson said receiving laughter from the Stockholm crowd.
He then urged everyone to go and vote for SD when the polls open tomorrow at 8am.
Sweden election: Sweden Democrats hold a campaign rally before the election
Sweden election: Supporters of Sweden Democrats were seen in Stockholm today
5.35pm update: Sweden Democrats boycott broadcaster
Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson has boycotted SVT, the country’s national public television broadcaster, until after the election.
It comes after the channel disagreed with his statement on immigrants during the party leadership debate on Friday.
5.30pm update: Sweden Democrat vote is “dangerous” and “counterproductive”
Sweden’s Prime Minister started the final day of the election campaign by warning about extremism and fascism.
According to the Omni news website, Stefan Lofven said a vote for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats was “dangerous” and “counterproductive”.
He added it was “like trying to quench fire with alcohol”.
4.55pm update: Only 80,000 voters distinguish between the two coalition blocks
The day before the election, a poll conducted by Inizio for Aftonbladet, says the two coalitions are only divided by 1.3 percentage points.
This corresponds to about 80,000 voters.
However, more than three times as many, 4.3 percent or around 265,000 voters, have still not decided which party to vote for.
According to the poll, it will be up to some 265,000 voters to decide who wins tomorrow.
4.50pm update: A close race between the coalition blocks one day before the election
The latest polls have shown very even numbers between the coalition blocks.
It is also not certain that the coalition receiving most of the votes will get enough mandates to form Government – that will depend on the other parties.
For example, the Social Democrats have said they are interested in collaborating with the Centre party – a member of the Alliance.
4.40pm update: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven prepares for tonight’s debate against Ulf Kristersson.
The debate will take place in Linköping and is broadcasted on TV4 at 8pm.
4.24pm update: Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson will boycott Swedish broadcaster SVT tonight.
After yesterday’s debate, SVT said they would not support a statement made by Jimmie Åkesson’s on integration and work, where the party leader said: “Immigrants don’t belong in Sweden.”
The party leader said in a statement earlier today: “It must be quite unique in Swedish political history that the state channel in the last election debate, a couple of days before the polls closes, distance themselves from a party. I have never experienced anything like that.”
It is not clear whether the party will boycott the state channel during the election day tomorrow.
The TV-channels decision has later been criticised for being undemocratic.