STOCKHOLM — Conservative Prime Minister Carl Bildt resigned Monday, a day after voters brought back the Social Democrats to guide the country out of its economic crisis.
After a campaign dominated by economic issues, the Social Democrats captured 45.6% of the vote Sunday, according to late returns.
That's enough to return Ingvar Carlsson to the prime minister's post three years after he was ousted by a conservative coalition. His Social Democratic Party won 162 seats, 13 short of a majority in the 349-seat Parliament. Bildt's conservative coalition won 147 seats. Carlsson has been asked to try to form a government.
The Social Democrats have held power for most of the past 60 years. Their free spending built up Sweden's welfare state after World War II. But they campaigned like fiscal conservatives, promising fiscal control and limited cuts in public spending.