Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images

Sweden's Social Democrats, who led the previous government with a center-left coalition, had their worst election performance since World War I, but are neck-and-neck with a center-right coalition led by the Moderate Party.

What to watch: The far-right Sweden Democrats, who came in third, will likely be cut out of any forthcoming coalition, but will still hold enough seats to sway decisive votes in parliament.

  • Notable, from populism expert Cas Mudde: "Voter streams of #SwedenDemocrats show that they held on to almost all its 2014 voters and won almost exclusively, and equally, from [the Social Democrats] and [Moderates]."

Summing it up, via Politico's Brussels Playbook: "In other words, there’s no winner. The coming weeks will be a Choose Your Own Adventure route to minority government. IKEA doesn’t provide a manual for that sort of construction."

The big picture: The buzzword among analysts today has been "fragmentation," the fact that — across Europe — the biggest political parties are getting smaller and smaller political parties are getting bigger as more targeted options are presented to voters.

  • Worth reading: This Twitter thread from academic Sarah de Lange details the phenomenon and provides greater context.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
17 mins ago - Economy & Business

Coronavirus surge is sinking consumer confidence

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies, CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rise in coronavirus cases in certain parts of the U.S. is stunting confidence across the country, a crop of new reports show.

Driving the news: After stalling during the previous two-week period, overall economic sentiment declined for the first time in two months, according to the Economic Sentiment Index, a biweekly survey from data firm CivicScience and Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS).

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations. Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Coronavirus testing is a windfall. Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.

The GOP's monstrous math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans, win or lose next week, face a big — and growing — math problem.

The state of play: They're relying almost exclusively on a shrinking demographic (white men), living in shrinking areas (small, rural towns), creating a reliance on people with shrinking incomes (white workers without college degrees) to survive.

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