> A far right and fiercely populist political party is poised to decide the balance of power in normally progressive Sweden. Sunday's election tells a story we've heard before. Across Europe from rural Germany to Hungary, and to Rust Belt America, when jobs leave and immigration fears swell.
This is the County of Ljusnarsberg. Over 1000 asylum seekers came here in 2015, although most have settled elsewhere now. Once the heartland of the center left, now Ljusnarsberg is a base for the Sweden Democrats party. They're a distinct minority. Polls suggest less than 20%, but that's enough to be kingmakers.
Johan Ahlander, at the Reuters Stockholm Bureau.>> They're pretty straightforward. Center right block politics that has dominated Swedish politics for the last hundred years seem to come to an end, as no one will be able to form a government without the support of the Sweden Democrats. The problem is nobody wants to talk to them because of the troubled past.
The Swedish Democrats were founded in the late 80s, in part by white supremacists. And in the early years, their rallies drew skinheads. The current party leader, Jim Akesson has tried to clean up the party. But they have been rocked by numerous scandals, and they have been forced to throw out numerous members because of racist statements online.
>> Another parallel with other recent elections is a huge surge in fake news. Most of it geared towards spreading negative misinformation about immigration and Islam. A recent study by Oxford University suggests one in three news articles shared on social media about the Swedish election is fake news of this sort.
And Reuters found that the three most popular websites Oxford listed, employed former members of the Sweden Democrats.