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Sweden faces political uncertainty after deadlock

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Sweden faces political uncertainty after deadlock

Sweden could face a period of political deadlock after preliminary results showed the two main parliamentary blocs failed to secure enough votes to form a majority government.

With almost all votes counted, the ruling center-left coalition government, made up of Social Democrats and the Green Party, won 40.6% of the votes, while the center-right Alliance garnered 40.2% of the votes, according to The Guardian.

The Social Democrats party is on track to secure 101 seats in the unicameral, 349-seat Riksdag after securing 28.4% of the votes, with 5999 of 6004 districts counted. The Greens, which are the Social Democrats' partner in the current coalition government, won 4.3% of the votes.

The Social Democrats pledged to strengthen the country's welfare system through a spending boost of more than 70 billion kronor in the next four years. Sweden's total spending was 941 billion kronor in the 2017 budget, according to Reuters. The governing party also campaigned for higher pensions, greater military and education spending, as well as a tax banks and higher taxes on capital to generate 5 billion kronor a year.

The Moderates, which won 19.8% of the votes, had proposed to increase spending by around 37 billion kronor, reduce taxes by 50 billion kronor over the next four years and raise defense expenditures. The Moderates are part of the Alliance of four center right parties, along with the Centre Party, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats.

Neither political bloc has agreed to form a coalition government with the far-right Sweden Democrats, which won 17.6% of the votes.

The Sweden Democrats have gained popularity over their call for tighter immigration controls, including a proposal to stop accepting asylum seekers, and their opposition to the country's continued membership to the European Union.