General elections were held in Sweden on 16 September 1973. The Social Democratic remained the largest party, winning 156 of the 350 seats.
For most of the campaign, the opposition parties had led the socialist parties in the polls. It has been speculated that several events influenced the outcome of the election in favour of the government: the death of King Gustaf VI Adolf the previous day, the Norrmalmstorg robbery and the 1973 Chilean coup d'état. Palme had delivered an impassioned speech on Salvador Allende's legacy on the eve of the election, in which he praised the democratic system.
The election instead produced a draw, with the socialist and liberal-conservative blocs winning 175 seats each. Since the opposition could not pass a motion of no confidence against Palme's government, they were able to remain in power. To pass legislation, the Social Democrats had to draw lots or seek support from the opposition. To prevent the scenario from reoccurring, the size of Riksdag was adjusted to an odd number for subsequent elections.
Votes by municipality. The municipalities are the color of the party that got the most votes within the coalition that won relative majority.
Cartogram of the map to the left with each municipality rescaled to the number of valid votes cast.
Votes by municipality as a scale from red/Left-wing bloc to blue/Centre-right bloc.
Cartogram of vote with each municipality rescaled in proportion to number of valid votes cast. Deeper blue represents a relative majority for the centre-right coalition, brighter red represents a relative majority for the left-wing coalition.