Elections in Sweden

Herewith an excerpt of a recent post on the blog of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Date: 9 September 2018
Election type: Parliamentary


  • Unicameral parliament in parliamentary constitutional monarchy: Riksdag (national legislature) composed of 349 representatives, supreme decision-making body in Sweden.
  • Elections held every 4 years with a proportional system; parties must win at least 4% of the vote nationally, or 12% of the vote in one constituency, to enter parliament.
  • Current governing coalition: Social Democrats and Green Party, with support of Left Party, led by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven (Social Democrats).


Establishment parties:

  • Social Democratic Party (S): center-left; social democracy; pro-labor policies and welfare state; pro-immigration but increasingly restrictive since 2015 crisis; feminist foreign policy; pro-EU; wishes to avoid debate about potential NATO membership.
  • Moderate Party (M): center-right; liberal-conservative; pro-privatization and lower taxation; advocates for more restrictive immigration policies; pro-EU; pro-NATO membership; led by Ulf Kristersson who leads a 4-party, center-right coalition (the Alliance).
  • Center Party (C): liberal; free-market economy; active in rural affairs and environmental protection; seeks some restrictions on immigration; relatively pro-EU.
  • Left Party (V): left-wing; socialism; anti-privatization; feminism; pro-immigration; Euroscepticism; against NATO membership.
  • Green Party (MP): center; socially progressive; pro-environment; soft Euroscepticism; against NATO membership; in current coalition.
  • Christian Democrats (KD): center-right; conservative; pro-business; relatively pro-EU; anti-immigration; focus on education policies; led by Ebba Busch Thor, member of the Alliance.

Extreme parties:

  • Sweden Democrats (SD): far-right; nationalist; socially conservative; neo-Nazi roots but has attempted to soften its image; strongly anti-immigration; Euroscepticism; pro-Russian; led by Jimmie Akesson.

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