"All the parties except two of them, I would say, have moved toward us", Markus Wiechel, a member of parliament for the Sweden Democrats and the party's foreign-policy spokesman, said the week before the vote.
That could prove fatal for the Alliance, with the Liberal and Centre parties repeatedly ruling out a deal with "the devil", as Akesson occasionally calls himself.
When 17.6 percent of the electorate in a sensible country like Sweden vote for an outsider party, the political elite should sit up and take notice.
There was a sense of relief among supporters of mainstream parties about the far-right's less dramatic gains.
So - why won't the Sweden Democrats form a coalition Government? Just ask the most respectable of respectable parties in Sweden, the long-governing Social Democrats.
"We will increase our seats in parliament and we will gain huge influence over what happens in Sweden during the coming weeks, months and years", Jimmie Akesson told a party rally.
"We have increased our mandate in parliament and we see that we will have an enormous influence on what is happening in Sweden in the next week, the next few months and the next few years", he told supporters.
"We need a cross-bloc cooperation", he told party supporters on Sunday evening. An nearly three per cent loss for the governing Social Democrats with 28.4 (-2.8) is a kind of victory after months of bad polling; it means that the party stays the strongest, with an nearly ten per cent lead.More news: Tesla cuts number of stock colours to streamline production
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JONATHAN NACKSTRAND via Getty Images Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven addresses an election campaign rally attended by Spain's prime minister in Enkoping, Sweden, on September 5, 2018.
Akesson hopes his party, which wants Sweden to leave the European Union and freeze immigration, can play a decisive role in negotiations over forming a government. But as the issue continued to gain relevance, the Sweden Democrats' position gained traction. Sweden now looks set for some complicated talks about which side can form a workable goverment. The center-right Alliance managed to secure 40.3 percent of the vote and if they teamed up with the far-right Sweden Democrats, they'd be able to form a government.
The potential of a surge by the party had many Swedes anxious about an erosion of the humanitarian values that have always been a foundation of their country's identity.
The right-wing populists have dictated the agenda and the established parties (except for the Left Party, the Greens, to some extent the centre-right Centre and the Social Democrats) have bought into their description of the state of Sweden and adjusted their political proposals thereafter.
He could try to build a similar government to one in 2014: a minority coalition with the Greens that relies on informal support in parliament from the ex-communist Left Party.
The Sweden Democrats emerged with 63 MPs, up from 49, leaving them in a strong position.
Akesson labelled the vote a choice between immigration and welfare in a campaign that was unusually antagonistic.
"If nobody is talking about stuff that people see as problems, the only answers and understanding that they're going to have are the ones offered by the populist parties". The government's finance minister suggested refugees seek another country in which to claim asylum, while Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced that the country would crack down on criminals, and the party declared that emergency border security laws from the height of the refugee crisis would be kept in place indefinitely.
Many voters are also concerned about violence. A year ago in October, almost seven months after the March election, prime minister Mark Rutte pulled together a shaky coalition of four parties on a centre-right programme.