The Social Democrat politician was against sanctions on Russia in 2014. Now he has to decide whether Germany can send Leopard tanks to help Ukraine challenge Russia.
Exit polls had initially predicted a narrow victory for left-wing Andersson's camp but as the evening wore on, and the vote count supplanted the exit poll, the results tipped in favor of the conservatives.
Opinion polls show Social Democrat PM Andersson's centre-left and the right-wing bloc running neck-and-neck in the elections marked by crime and a cost-of-living crisis.
Around 65 percent of Germans are unhappy with the work of Germany's three-way coalition government as a whole, compared with 43 percent in March.
The German governing coalition is facing a series of challenges that leave it with no chance of maintaining its unity as inter-party disagreements have already led to major public discontent.
Not wanting to anger the Kremlin, Berlin has pursued a low-profile policy on the Ukraine conflict.
The win in the western German state of Saarland came despite the latest national surveys showing support for the SPD dipping, as Scholz faces criticism for his stance on Ukraine and pandemic management.
The senior partner in the newly formed coalition elected three top officials, days after its candidate, Olaf Scholz, became the country's new chancellor.
The SPD's Olaf Scholz is due to be elected chancellor by the Bundestag lower house of parliament and officially take office on Wednesday.
Magdalena Andersson resigned after the government’s own budget proposal was rejected in favour of one presented by the opposition that includes the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats.
In major European nations like the UK and France, populist movements dominate the political landscape. But in Germany, mainstream politics continues to rule.
After 16 years, Germany’s Social Democrats finally beat Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in September polls. If a left-led government comes in power, will it change much in the EU?
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