from nytimes: Sweden became the latest European nation to see a breakthrough for populist right-wingers Sunday, when the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats won their first parliamentary seats in elections that failed to produce a clear outcome.
The prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, who led an alliance of four parties, claimed victory and is almost certain to become the first leader from Sweden’s center-right since World War II to serve two consecutive terms...
Unlike nearby Denmark and Norway, where populist anti-immigration parties have been successful for years, voters here had never before given the Sweden Democrats sufficient support to overcome the 4 percent threshold they needed to reach Parliament. The election authority said the Sweden Democrats won 5.7 percent of the vote and 20 seats...
With its high taxes and a generous welfare system, Sweden has been regarded by many outsiders as a bastion of liberalism and tolerance — immune from far-right politics.
However the integration of minorities within this nation of 9.4 million people has become a growing preoccupation, especially in cities that have experienced high rates of immigration.
Though the official campaign was dominated by discussion of welfare reform and taxation, immigration lurked beneath the surface.
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