Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven (front 2nd L) smiles as he stands with his new government during a news conference in Stockholm
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven (front 2nd L) smiles as he stands with his new government during a news conference in Stockholm earlier this year.Reuters

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has called for an early election, just three months after coming into power, following a parliamentary defeat for his minority government.

"We have formed a government, we have a budget, and we will go into the elections with that," he said in a news conference alongside a spokesman for the Greens, a coalition partner.

He said that the poll would allow Swedish voters to "make a choice in the face of this new political landscape".

He revealed that the vote would take place on 22 March after his administration failed to pass its budget through the Swedish parliament. The Social Democrats, Lofven's party, lost the vote when the far-right Sweden Democrats chose to side with the opposition to the vote.

The vote was lost by a margin of 182 to 153 after the Sweden Democrats used their 49 seats in parliament to defeat the budget.

The Sweden Democrats are the country's third-largest party and are seeking to reverse perceived loose immigration laws, such as allowing all Syrians fleeing the civil war asylum.

Spokesman for the party, Mattias Karlsson, has slammed the government's stance as an "extreme immigration policy", with Sweden having the highest rate of asylum applications per capita of any country in the European Union.