STOCKHOLM (AFP) - The head of the far-right anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats said Sunday his party had become the "absolute kingmaker" in parliament after more than doubling its votes in legislative elections.
"We're the absolute kingmaker now," Jimmie Aakesson said after preliminary counts showed the Sweden Democrats had garnered 13.0 per cent of the vote, making it the country's third-largest party.
He made the statement in front of a jubilant crowd of supporters at his party's campaign headquarters in Stockholm.
"They can't ignore us the way they have ignored us over the past four years," he told public broadcaster SVT.
His remark referred to the other parties in the country's 349-seat parliament, which have refused to negotiate with the Sweden Democrats ever since they first gained entry into parliament in the last elections four years ago with 5.7 per cent of the vote.
The party, which has benefited from growing concern in Sweden over an accelerating influx of refugees, could now more than double its legislative seats from the current 20, according to forecasts.
"It's obvious that they will have to take us into account," Aakesson told the broadcaster.
"You have to be able to govern this country for four years, and it's going to be hard if they are not prepared to talk to us or listen to us."