The Social Democratic party, presiding over a booming economy, fought off a challenge from the environmentalist Greens and retained its hold on a minority government in parliamentary elections.

Nearly complete returns from Sunday's balloting gave the upstart Greens a place in the 349-member Riksdag, or parliament, for the first time. But the returns indicated the party did not gained the key role as legislative power broker that pre-election polls had suggested it might.Carlsson, who took office after the 1986 assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme, admitted he had felt "a bit nervous" leading the Social Democrats in an election for the first time.