Sweden votes in hotly contested elections

Sweden's Social Democratic PM Stefan Lofven

Polling stations across Sweden opened on Sunday morning for one of the most hotly contested elections in recent history. The formation of a new government is predicted to be complicated since neither bloc is projected to secure a majority.

Polls have suggested that a left-leaning bloc led by PM Stefan Lofven's ruling Social Democrats has a slight edge over the rival four-party centre-right opposition known as the Alliance. The Alliance - the conservative Moderate Party, the Liberal Party, the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats - wants conservative leader Ulf Kristersson to replace Lofven.

Both the the anti-immigration Social Democrats and the Green Party, their junior coalition partner, have seen support slide in office when they have mainly relied on support from the Left Party.Lofven's government tightened immigration rules in late 2015 after the massive influx of migrants fleeing conflict in countries such as Syria.

About 7.4 million voters are eligible to vote for parliament. Polling stations are open between 8 am and 8 pm (0600-1800 GMT).In addition to the general election, voters will elect 20 county council assemblies and 290 municipal assemblies.

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