Voters in Sweden vote today

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Sweden will vote on Sunday in an election in which the ruling center-left Social Democrats will battle a far-right bloc that has joined forces with anti-immigration Swedish Democrats in a bid to regain power after eight years in opposition.

While the number of shootings alarms voters, election campaigns have seen cross-party bickering over gang crime, while rising inflation and an energy crisis in the wake of Ukraine’s invasion have become increasingly central.

The right focuses on law and order, but skyrocketing energy prices for households and businesses due to an impending economic crisis could bolster Social Democrat Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson, who is seen as trustworthy and responsible and more popular than her party.

“My clear message is: During the pandemic, we have supported Swedish businesses and families. I will act exactly the same again if I have your confidence again,” Andersson said in a recent discussion ahead of the vote.

Andersen served as finance minister for several years before becoming Sweden’s first female prime minister a year ago. The main challenger is the moderate party leader Ulf Christerson, who sees himself as the only one able to unite and oust the right.

Christerson has spent years deepening ties with the anti-immigration Swedish Democrats, whose founders are white supremacists. The Swedish Democrats were initially shunned by all other parties, but are now part of the mainstream right.

“We will prioritize law and order, making it profitable to operate and build new climate-smart nuclear power,” Kristerson said in a video released by his party. “We just want to distinguish Sweden.”

Polls show a convergence of the center-left with the right-wing bloc as the Swedish Democrats seem to have finally overtaken the moderates as the second-largest party after the Social Democrats.

The polling stations close at 18:00 GMT.

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