Sweden's recent parliamentary election left the balance of political power in doubt. While the country's biggest political parties maintained their places, a nationalist party made big gains. The main political alliances ended up with almost the exact same number of seats won. Neither side has wanted to align with the nationalists, whose numbers would easily secure victory for either side. As such, Swedish politics has been a precarious state.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has lost

It became clear, following the election, that Prime Minister Stefan Lofven's position was vulnerable.

Lofven has been the leader of the left-leaning Social Democrats since 2012. He became prime minister in 2014. Andreas Norlen, a member of the right-leaning Moderate Party, was chosen as the parliament's speaker on Monday. He was voted in with the support of the nationalist Sweden Democrats. This is despite that the Moderates and their allies choose not to deal with them.

Similarly, the Sweden Democrats voted against Lofven on Tuesday (September 25). Their numbers, along with those of the Moderate-led bloc, were too much for the prime minister. It is to bring an end to his premiership. Lofven's early life was rough. Born in Stockholm, he was placed in an orphanage and raised by a foster family.

After finishing Sweden's compulsory military service with the Swedish Air Force, he became a welder. Lofven eventually became a trade union president, and shortly after went into politics. A missing Texas toddler's sister was placed in foster care. As NPR reports, Speaker Norlen is now tasked with overseeing negotiations for choosing a new prime minister.

Sweden's immediate political future is tenuous

Prime Minister Lofven is expected to stay on as a caretaker until his successor takes over. The BBC reports that Moderate Party Leader Ulf Kristersson is the favorite. Kristersson has been leading the party and serving as leader of the opposition since 2014. Previously, he had been the minister of social security.

A possible Kristersson premiership is also likely to be uneasy. He has pledged not to form a coalition with the Sweden Democrats. He likely cannot even negotiate with them. Two of the parties that make up the bloc Kristersson leads have stated they will withdraw their support if he does so. As such, the parliament is likely to remain in a state of gridlock. No party or alliance has enough members to take firm control without the support of the Sweden Democrats. And none of the key players involved are likely to seek them out any time soon.