Sweden goes to the polls with a right-wing group with neo-Nazi roots that will become the biggest party

Voters from across Sweden will go to the polls (pictured) to cast their votes in the Swedish general election

The Swedes began voting this morning (Sunday 9) in an election dominated by fears about asylum and well-being, and the Swedish anti-immigration democrats are competing to become the largest party.

Far-right parties have made great strides in Europe in recent years after a refugee crisis triggered by the civil war in Syria and continuing conflicts in Afghanistan and parts of Africa.

In Sweden, the influx of 163,000 asylum seekers in 2015 has polarized voters, and could give Sweden's Democrats, a party with roots in the neo-Nazi strip, a veto over which parties form the next government.

Voters from across Sweden will go to the polls (pictured) to cast their votes in the Swedish general election

Voters from across Sweden will go to the polls (pictured) to cast their votes in the Swedish general election

Sweden welcomed more asylum-seekers per capita than any other European country in 2015, raising concerns about a welfare system that many voters already believe is in crisis.

The prolongation of queues for critical operations, the shortage of doctors and teachers and a police service that has not known how to deal with gang violence in the city center have shaken faith in the "Swedish model". , based on the promise of integral well-being and social inclusion.

Sweden's Democratic leader, Jimmie Akesson, has called the vote a choice between immigration and welfare.

The Democratic leader of Sweden, Jimmie Akesson (pictured), has been rejected by leading politicians after he promised to sink any government that refuses to give his opinion on several issues

The Democratic leader of Sweden, Jimmie Akesson (pictured), has been rejected by leading politicians after he promised to sink any government that refuses to give his opinion on several issues

The Democratic leader of Sweden, Jimmie Akesson (pictured), has been rejected by leading politicians after he promised to sink any government that refuses to give his opinion on several issues

It has also promised to sink any government that refuses to give its opinion on politics, particularly on immigration.

Traditional politicians have rejected it so far.

But with some kind of cooperation between the parties of the center-left and center-right blocs, the only alternative to the current political stalemate, analysts believe that Akesson could have some influence on politics.

With both options unpleasant for traditional players, forming a government could take weeks.

The center-left bloc, which unites the minority that governs the social democratic and green parties with the left party, has the backing of around 40 percent of voters, according to recent opinion polls, with a slight advantage over the Alliance center block.

Supporters of the Swedish Democratic Party (pictured) have been campaigning throughout Stockholm

Supporters of the Swedish Democratic Party (pictured) have been campaigning throughout Stockholm

Supporters of the Swedish Democratic Party (pictured) have been campaigning throughout Stockholm

Sweden's Democrats, who want the country to leave the European Union and suspend immigration, have about 17 percent, compared to 13 percent they got in the 2014 vote, opinion polls suggest.

Their support was widely underestimated before the previous elections and some online polls give them up to 25 percent, a result that will probably make them the biggest party, dethroning the Social Democrats for the first time in a century.

That could weaken the Swedish krona in the short term, but analysts see no long-term effects on the election markets because economic growth is strong, the government coffers are well supplied and there is broad agreement on the momentum of the economic policy.

According to Magnus Blomgren, a social scientist at the University of Umea, "the traditional parties have not responded to the feeling of discontent that exists.

"That discontent may not be directly related to unemployment or the economy, but simply a loss of faith in the political system, Sweden is not alone in this."

Sweden has flirted with populism before. New Democracy, founded by an aristocrat and record producer, won almost 7 percent of the vote in 1991, promising strict immigration policies, cheaper alcohol and free parking, only to leave parliament three years later.

If the Swedish Democrats win a quarter of the vote, it would be a sensation in a country described as a "humanitarian superpower" in 2014 by the Prime Minister of the time, Fredrik Reinfeldt, of the moderate party.

It would also make them the largest populist party in the Nordic region, spearheading the Danish People's Party, which won 21 percent in 2015, and would surpass 12.6 percent of the Far Right Alternative for Germany, which was extended by the Bundestag last year.

With a view to next year's European Parliament elections, Brussels politicians are closely watching the Swedish vote, worried that a nation with impeccable democratic credentials could join the growing chorus of Euroscepticism in the EU.

The voting stations opened at 0600 GMT and will close at 1800 GMT, and the exit polls will be published by the two main Swedish stations. The results of the vote will be clarified later in the evening.

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