Sweden Government and Politics

Party and politics

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Since 1970, Sweden has had a joint election day in elections to the Riksdag, the regional council and the municipal council. Political life was characterized until 1994 by the three-year rhythm of the mandate. These are since then four years, which is why the period between the ordinary elections to the Riksdag and the municipality has become longer than ever before. Sweden’s membership of the European Union (EU) means that another general election must be held, namely by the Swedish members of the European Parliament. This happens every five years.

Since the Single Chamber Day came into being in 1971, Swedish parliamentarism has mainly been characterized by minority rule. Despite the four percent blockchain introduced at the same time, the far-reaching proportionality of the electoral system has meant that majority governments have been unusual. Minority parliamentarism has led to settlements across traditional block borders. Nevertheless, block policy has in principle continued. A bourgeois block of parties has resisted a socialist, although there have occasionally been major contradictions within the blocs.

Sweden has had a relatively stable party system since the parliamentary breakthrough in 1917, which was first expanded during the 1980s with new parliamentary parties that entered the Riksdag by their own power. The largest party since 1914 has been Sweden’s Social Democratic Workers Party, SAP (Social Democrats), whose share of the votes since the introduction of the Single Chamber Day has been between 28.3 percent (at the 2018 election) and 45.6 percent (1982). During this period, the party has held government power 1971–76, 1982–91, 1994–2006 and since 2014 (in coalition with the Environment Party), but never with its own majority in Parliament.

The Left Party, formerly a Communist Party, has since 1971 served as a parliamentary support party for Social Democratic minority governments. The voter share has usually been around 5 percent and sometimes slightly higher (8.0 percent in 2018), but in 1998 the party received 12 percent of the vote. Together with the Social Democrats, the Left Party has constituted the socialist bloc.

The Green Party, which originally wanted to be outside the block policy, was first elected in 1988, dropped out of Parliament in 1991 but returned in 1994. The party’s voting share has been around 5 percent since 1994; however, slightly higher in 2010 and 2014. Prior to the 2006 election, the party became more clearly connected to the socialist parties, and before the 2010 elections the three parties emerged as a red-green government alternative. After the 2014 and 2018 elections, the Environment Party formed a government together with the Social Democrats.

The four bourgeois, or non-socialist, parties usually receive support from 40 to 50 percent of the electorate (40.2 percent in 2018). Since 1971, they have held government power 1976–82 (minority governments 1978–79 and 1981–82), 1991–94 (minority government) and 2006–14 (minority government from 2010). Their size and interrelationships have varied greatly in recent decades. The largest since 1979 is the Moderate Assembly Party (Moderates), with (2018) a voter turnout of 19.8 percent.

The Center Party (the Center) and the Liberals (formerly the Folk Party Liberals), sometimes called the middle parties (see middle cooperation), got 8.6 percent and 5.5 percent of the vote in 2018, respectively. Since 1991, the Christian Democrats have also beenrepresented in the Riksdag (2018 with 6.3 percent of the vote).

The cooperation between these four parties became stronger from 2004 through the formation of the Alliance for Sweden (Alliance), which contributed to the election victories in 2006 and 2010. The Center Party and the Liberals’ agreement with the Social Democrats and the Environment Party in January 2019 (see the January agreement) meant a step away from block policy; how this will affect long-term cooperation between the Alliance parties remains to be seen.

Since 2010, the Swedish Democrats have also been, which can be described as an intermediary between a populist and an anti-xenophobic party, represented in Parliament. In the 2014 parliamentary elections, the party received 12.9 percent of the vote and thus became the third largest party; Four years later, this position was consolidated when the party received 17.5 percent of the vote. Due to the party’s position on the immigration issue, the other parliamentary parties have refused to cooperate with the Sweden Democrats, and cross-border settlements have been made so that the Swedish Democrats, despite their daredevil role, should not have any influence in the Riksdag. This issue was crucial to the decision of the Center and the Liberals not to support a coalition government with the Moderates and Christian Democrats after the 2018 election, but instead to conclude an agreement with the Social Democrats and the Environment Party.

During the single-chamber kingdom day, in all elections, the incumbent government received a reduced voter support, sometimes without losing government power. The party loyalty of voters has diminished. The previously strong link between social affiliation and sympathy for a particular political party has gradually weakened in favor of the connection between opinion and party sympathy. However, when the party positions were class profiled, such as at SAP when the party was in opposition, however, the opinion and class vote coincided.

Major blockchain differences during the single-chamber day have been around tax policy, family policy, the introduction of employee funds and the design and scope of the public sector. In other important issues, the political frontlines have gone between SAP, the Moderate Party and the Liberals, on the one hand, and the Center Party, the Left Party and the Environmental Party, the Greens on the other. This applies, for example, to energy policy (especially the nuclear issue), parts of environmental policy and regional policy. Prior to Sweden’s accession to the European Union in 1995, a referendum was held in November 1994, with 47 percent voting no despite all parties except the Left Party and the Environment Party advocating a green EU membership. For an overview of various political issues: see defense policy,agricultural policy, social policy, foreign policy and articles on other policy areas.

The political life of the country is dominated by the parties, both municipal and national. Informally, however, a significant influence is also exercised by extra-parliamentary pressure groups of various kinds, primarily interest and lobby organizations. Through Sweden’s EU membership, a significant number of constitutions and laws have been added that cannot be unilaterally changed by the Riksdag. As a result, since 1995, the conditions of Swedish political life have changed. Compare the European Union (the decision-making process), the Union Treaty (Maastricht Treaty), the Amsterdam Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty.

The Swedish political system shows contradictions of the same kind as in other parliamentary controlled industrialized countries. There are greater differences of opinion regarding the future defense and security policy, in particular the question of Sweden’s relationship with NATO, as well as the extent of EU integration, where the Sweden Democrats and the Left Party differ from other parties through their strongly critical attitude to the Union. However, value community exists in several important areas; compare the Swedish model. Due to Sweden’s strong dependence on foreign trade, consensus has usually prevailed on offering favorable conditions to the export industry. Furthermore, there has long been a very broad support from both voters and parties for the general welfare policy and the peace-oriented foreign policy. It is about the choice of means the debate usually stands for, rather than around the goals.

Results in parliamentary elections

Parliamentary election result 1911–2018, distribution as a percentage of political parties (here under their current names)

Election year Election turn
1911 57.0 31.2 40.2 28.5 0.1
1914 1) 69.9 37.7 32.2 30.1 0.0
1914 2) 66.2 36.5 0.2 26.9 36.4 0.0
1917 65.8 24.7 8.5 27.6 39.2 0.0
1920 55.3 27.9 14.2 21.8 36.1 0.0
1921 54.2 25.8 11.1 19.1 39.4 4.6 0.0
1924 53.0 26.1 10.8 16.9 41.1 5.1 0.0
1928 67.4 29.4 11.2 16.9 37.0 6.4 0.1
1932 67.6 23.5 14.1 11.7 41.7 8.3 0.7
1936 74.5 17.6 14.3 12.9 45.9 7.7 1.6
1940 70.3 18.0 12.0 12.0 53.8 4.2 0.0
1944 71.9 15.9 13.6 12.9 46.7 10.3 0.7
1948 82.7 12.3 12.4 22.8 46.1 6.3 0.1
1952 79.1 14.4 10.7 24.4 46.1 4.3 0.1
1956 79.8 17.1 9.4 23.8 44.6 5.0 0.1
1958 77.4 19.5 12.7 18.2 46.2 3.4 0.0
1960 85.9 16.5 13.6 17.5 47.8 4.5 0.1
1964 83.9 13.7 13.2 17.0 1.8 47.3 5.2 1.8
1968 89.3 12.9 15.7 14.3 1.5 50.1 3.0 2.6
1970 88.3 11.5 19.9 16.2 1.8 45.3 4.8 0.4
1973 90.8 14.3 25.1 9.4 1.8 43.6 5.3 0.6
1976 91.8 15.6 24.1 11.1 1.4 42.7 4.8 0.4
1979 90.7 20.3 18.1 10.6 1.4 43.2 5.6 0.8
1982 91.4 23.6 15.5 5.9 1.9 1.7 45.6 5.6 0.2
1985 89.9 21.3 x12,4 14.2 x 1.5 44.7 5.4 0.5
1988 86.0 18.3 11.3 12.2 2.9 5.5 43.2 5.8 0.7
1991 86.7 21.9 8.5 9.1 7.1 3.4 6.7 37.6 4.5 1.2
1994 86.8 22.4 7.7 7.2 4.1 5.0 1.2 45.3 6.2 1.0
1998 81.4 22.9 5.1 4.7 11.8 4.5 36.4 12.0 2.6
2002 80.1 15.2 6.1 13.3 9.1 4.6 1.4 39.8 8.3 1.4
2006 82.0 26.3 7.9 7.5 6.6 5.2 2.9 35.0 5.9 2.8
2010 84.6 30.1 6.6 7.1 5.6 7.3 5.7 30.7 5.6 1.4
2014 85.8 23.3 6.1 5.4 4.6 6.9 12.9 31.0 5.7 4.1
2018 87.2 19.8 8.6 5.5 6.3 4.4 17.5 28.3 8.0 1.1

M = Moderate Assembly Party
C = Center Party
L = Liberals
KD = Christian Democrats
MP = Environmental Party the Green
NYD = New Democracy
SD = Sweden Democrats
S = Sweden’s Social Democratic Workers
Party V = Left Party
x = 1985, the Center Party and the Christian Democrats voted together

1) spring
2) autumn


Sweden is a democratic rule of law with monarchical state form, parliamentarism and strong municipal autonomy. These main features characterize the written constitution, whose most important document is the form of government (RF). RF, added in 1974, is the country’s foremost constitution and came into force in 1975, when it replaced 1809 RF. Following the single-chamber reform in 1971, the constitutional reform in 1975 led to more formal than factual changes.

The King is the head of state (RF 1: 1) but has only representative functions and is chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The succession is governed by the succession order from 1810, which is our oldest applicable constitution.

All public power “comes from the people” (RF 1: 1). The people’s “main representative” is the Riksdag (RF 1: 4), which establishes a law, decides on the state’s income and expenditure and exercises control power. The government (RF 1: 6) “governs the kingdom” and is accountable to the parliament, which by means of a declaration of confidence can force the resignation of the government or individual government (RF 12: 4) and who has the right to vote in advance on the prime minister’s proposal (RF 6: 2).

Governing the state involves, among other things, exercising the right of command over the state administration, both domestically and abroad, and specifying the Riksdag’s decisions with detailed regulations and decisions in individual cases. The importance of municipal autonomy is strongly emphasized (RF 1: 7).

In practice, as in many other countries, the government in Sweden has greater power than according to the letter of the constitution. However, both in the legislation and in the budget area, the main tendency is that both the Riksdag and the government mainly make major, overall decisions. Most rules in society are decided by state or municipal authorities.

Basic rules for the rule of law have also been incorporated into RF. Among other things, the principle of legality applies, which means that all the exercise of power must be standard: “public power is exercised under the laws” (RF 1: 1). Furthermore, the principle of everyone’s equality before the law and the duty of all authorities to observe objectivity and impartiality are established (RF 1: 9).

The independence of the courts and administrative authorities in deciding individual cases and cases is guaranteed by regulations (RF 11: 2, 7) that no one, nor the Riksdag or a municipal decision-making body, may interfere in that activity.

Fundamental freedoms and rights occupy an important place in RF (Chapter 2). Sweden has also ratified the European Convention on this and, since 1 January 1995, transposed it into national Swedish law. As an expression of old Swedish traditions, in addition to RF, there are two special constitutions in the area of rights, the Freedom of Expression Ordinance of 1949 and the Freedom of Expression Constitution of 1991.

Sweden became a member of the EU on January 1, 1995 following a referendum and a decision in accordance with what RF stipulates (10: 3). Therefore, some important information on regulation and finance and so on has been transferred to the EU bodies.


The Swedish administration is organized on three levels: central, regional and local (compare administration). At central level there is only state administration, at regional there is state and municipal government, and at local level there is state and municipal. The division of work at the central level is based on the ministries preparing the government affairs, while the other administration, with the central government offices at its core, is responsible for the execution of the political decisions. In recent decades, enforcement tasks have been increasingly decentralized to the municipalities, while the central government administration has focused more on planning and control tasks.

The state administration has an internationally unique position. In most other countries, the ministers are heads of the administrative bodies in their areas of activity and can decide on the formulation of individual administrative decisions (ministerial administration). With us, only the government, not individual ministers, can guide individual administrative decisions. Even the government cannot control the content when the officials apply laws that apply to the rights of individuals.

The administration of the Swedish welfare society is of considerable scope with approximately 1.5 million employees, which corresponds to 40 percent of all professionals. Almost 2/3 of the public employees work in health care, education and social care. In round numbers, the state and the regions (almost entirely health care) each employ a quarter of the public employees, while the remainder are municipal employees (with the school and social care as the main business areas).

The demands on the administration can to some extent be contradictory. While emphasizing the need for greater efficiency and productivity, there are demands for legal certainty, ethically satisfactory procedures and measures, and respect for the institutions of democracy. In recent decades, the discussion has been dominated by demands for increased efficiency. A number of new organizational forms, designed to meet objectives such as privatization and market adaptation, have been tried, especially during the government Bildt (1991-94).

Some of the traditional Swedish administrative institutions have succeeded in other democratic countries, namely the Ombudsman for Justice and the public principle.


Swedish law is considered to belong to the Nordic branch of the Continental European legal family. This family of law differs from the Anglo-American legal systems, including in that it is mainly based on statutory legal rules and not on judicial precedents.

In comparison with the extra-continental European legal systems, however, Swedish and other Nordic law appears to be less influenced by the Roman law traditions; Another important difference lies in the fact that Sweden and the other Nordic countries lack major civil rights codifications similar to the French and German civil laws. In some areas of law, Swedish law has been affected by the Nordic legislative cooperation, while legal development is largely linked to European integration within the EU.

The death penalty was finally abolished in legislation in 1972. Until then, the death penalty could only be punished for some very serious crimes during war or war-like conditions. For crimes committed in peacetime, the death penalty was formally abolished in 1921. The last execution in Sweden took place in 1910.

The judicial process in Sweden is handled mainly by state courts, although disputes between individuals to a significant extent are settled privately within the framework of a statutory arbitration procedure. The general courts have the task of settling civil-law disputes between individuals and of imposing penalties and other penalties in criminal cases. The first instance in the general court system is the district courts. The courts of law constitute the second instance, while the Supreme Court (HD) may, after special trial permission, try the case as the third and final court.

The General Administrative Courts examine issues relating to the relationship between individual legal entities and the general public, eg. tax targets and targets related to social legislation. The first instance in the administrative area is the administrative rights, while the chamber rights constitute the second instance. The third and final instance is the Supreme Administrative Court, which, however, raises cases only after a trial permit.

In addition to these courts, there are special courts for certain areas of law. Some special courts are independent entities, such as the Labor Court in cases in the field of labor law and the Market Court in cases under the competition and marketing laws, while others are special units in the general courts, such as the real estate courts and the environmental courts, which test cases according to the Environmental Code.

The Swedish courts have since been characterized by great independence in relation to political power. According to the Constitution, neither parliament, government nor the authority can decide how a court should judge in a single case, and Swedish judges can not be dismissed other than if they have committed a crime or grossly neglected their duties.

The judiciary consists mainly of lawyers, but the influence of laymen is made partly by the tribunals who appear in the first and second instance in the general courts and the administrative courts, and partly by the participation of special expert members in the special courts. Only in freedom of the press case is a system of jury applied in Sweden.

The trial at first and second instance in the general courts is characterized by oral, concentration and immediacy, ie. the matter which is the subject of a hearing shall be considered at an oral hearing held in a context. The Court may base its decision only on what occurred during the hearing. These principles are to a large extent also indicative of the procedure before other courts.


died about 995 Erik Segersäll
about 995 – about 1022 Olof Skötk King
about 1022 – about 1050 Anund Jakob
about 1050 – about 1060 Emulate the old man
about 1060 – about 1066 Stenkil
died about 1070 Halsten
about 1070 Håkan Röde
died about 1100 Inge d.ä.
about 1100-18 Filip
about 1118 – about 1120 Inge you
1120s contrary belief
Sverkerska family (S.), Erikska family (E.) and others
about 1130–56 Sverker d.ä. (S)
died about 1160 Erik the Holy (E.)
about 1160–67 Karl Sverkersson (S.)
1167 – about 1195 Knut Eriksson (E.)
1196-1208 Sverker dy Karlsson (S.)
1208-16 Erik Knutsson (E.)
1216-22 Johan Sverkersson (S.)
1222-29 Erik Eriksson (E.)
1229-34 Knut Långe
1234-50 Erik Eriksson (E.)
Folkunga family
1250-75 Valdemar Birgersson
1275-90 Magnus Ladulås
1290-1318 Birger Magnusson
1319-64 Magnus Eriksson
1363-89 Alright by Mecklenburg
Union regents, native kings and heads of state
1389-1412 Margareta
1396-1439 Erik of Pomerania
1438-40 Deputy Governor: Karl Knutsson (Farmer)
1441-48 Christophers of Bavaria
1448 Head of State: Bengt Jönsson Oxenstierna and Nils Jönsson Oxenstierna
1448-57 Karl Knutsson (Farmer)
1457 Head of State: Jöns Bengtsson Oxenstierna and Erik Axelsson Tott
1457-64 Kristian I
1464 Deputy Governor: Kettil Karlsson Vasa
1464-65 Karl Knutsson (Farmer)
1465 Deputy Governor: Kettil Karlsson Vasa
1465-66 Head of State: Jöns Bengtsson Oxenstierna
1466-67 Head of State: Erik Axelsson Tott
1467-70 Karl Knutsson (Farmer)
1470-97 Deputy Governor: Sten Sture d.ä.
1497-1501 His
1501-03 Deputy Governor: Sten Sture d.ä.
1504-11 Deputy Governor: Svante Nilsson Sture
1512 Deputy Governor: Erik Trolle
1512-20 Head of State: Sten Sture dy
1520-23 Kristian II
1521-23 Head of State: Gustav (Eriksson) Vasa
Vasa dynasty
1523-60 Gustav Vasa
1560-68 Erik XIV
1568-92 Johan III
1592-99 Sigismund
1599-1604 Head of State: Duke Karl
1604-11 Karl IX
1611-32 Gustav II Adolf
1632-54 Kristina (Guardian Government 1632–44)
Palatine family
1654-60 Karl X Gustav
1660-97 Karl XI (Customs Government 1660-72)
1697-1718 Charles XII (Covenant Government 1697)
1719-20 Ulrika Eleonora
1720-51 Fredrik I (of Hesse)
Holstein – Gottorpska lineage
1751-71 Adolf Fredrik
1771-92 Gustav III
1792-1809 Gustav IV Adolf (guardian government 1792–96)
1809-18 Karl XIII
The Bernadotte family
1818-44 Karl XIV Johan
1844-59 Oscar I
1859-72 Karl XV
1872-1907 Oscar II
1907-50 Gustaf V
1950-73 Gustaf VI Adolf
1973- Carl XVI Gustaf

Prime Ministers and Government Parties since 1876

Period Prime Minister government Parties Type of government
1876-80 Louis De Geer party political unbound
1880-83 Arvid Posse party political unbound
1883-84 Carl Johan Thyselius party political unbound
1884-88 Robert Themptander party political unbound
1888-89 Gillis Bildt party political unbound
1889-91 Gustaf Åkerhielm party political unbound
1891-1900 Erik Gustaf Boström party political unbound
1900-02 Fredrik von Otter party political unbound
1902-05 Erik Gustaf Boström party political unbound
1905 Johan Ramstedt party political unbound
1905 Christian Lundeberg collection government
1905-06 Karl Staaff Liberal Assembly Party minority government
1906-11 Arvid Lindman General Electoral Association minority government
1911-14 Karl Staaff Liberal Assembly Party minority government
1914-17 Hjalmar Hammarskjöld party political unbound
1917 Carl Swartz First Chamber’s National Party, the General Electoral Association minority government
1917-20 Nils Edén Liberal Assembly Party, Social Democrats minority government
1920 Hjalmar Branting The Social Democrats minority government
1920-21 Louis De Geer (dy) party political unbound
1921 Oscar von Sydow party political unbound
1921-23 Hjalmar Branting The Social Democrats minority government
1923-24 Ernst Trygger General Electoral Association minority government
1924-25 Hjalmar Branting The Social Democrats minority government
1925-26 Rickard Sandler The Social Democrats minority government
1926-28 Carl Gustaf Ekman Liberal People’s Party, Liberal Parliamentary Party minority government
1928-30 Arvid Lindman General Electoral Association minority government
1930-32 Carl Gustaf Ekman Liberal People’s Party minority government
1932 Felix Hamrin Liberal People’s Party minority government
1932-36 Per Albin Hansson The Social Democrats minority government
1936 Axel Pehrsson-Bramstorp Agrarians minority government
1936-39 Per Albin Hansson The Social Democrats, the Farmer’s Association majority government
1939-45 Per Albin Hansson The Social Democrats, the Peasant League, the People’s Party, the Right-wing National Organization collection government
1945-46 Per Albin Hansson The Social Democrats minority government
1946-51 Take Erlander The Social Democrats minority government
1951-57 Take Erlander The Social Democrats, Rural Party Farmer Union majority government
1957-69 Take Erlander The Social Democrats minority government 1957-68, majority government 1968-69
1969-76 Olof Palme The Social Democrats majority government 1969–70, minority government 1970–76
1976-78 Thorbjörn Fälldin Center Party, Folk Party, Moderate Collection Party majority government
1978-79 Ola Ullsten The Liberal Party minority government
1979-81 Thorbjörn Fälldin Center Party, Folk Party, Moderate Collection Party majority government
1981-82 Thorbjörn Fälldin Center Party, People Party minority government
1982-86 Olof Palme The Social Democrats minority government
1986-91 Ingvar Carlsson The Social Democrats minority government
1991-94 Carl Bildt Moderate Assembly Party, Center Party, Liberal Party Liberals, Christian Democratic Social Party minority government
1994-96 Ingvar Carlsson The Social Democrats minority government
1996-2006 Göran Persson The Social Democrats minority government
2006-14 Fredrik Reinfeldt Moderate Assembly Party, Center Party, People’s Party Liberals, Christian Democrats majority government 2006–10, minority government 2010–14
2014- Stefan Löfven The Social Democrats, the Green Party minority government

Sweden Head of Government

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