The Kingdom of Sweden maintains a multi-party system which currently holds eight parties in the parliament, a large number compared to countries such as the United States, which only has two major parties. There are also numerous other parties outside of the parliament, some of which are rising in popularity. In the last election, the nationalist party Sverigedemokraterna ("Sweden democrats") surprisingly entered the parliament with 5.7% of the national votes in support. Sweden is currently led by a coalition government between the Moderate party, Center party, People's party and the Christian democrats. The opposition consists of the Social democrats, Green party and Left party, which is a more loosely united coalition that is currently not as aligned as many people believe. The Sweden democrats is an independent party that stands outside any political cooperation. This article will now list the eight parliamentary parties of Sweden in popularity order, measured from the latest election.
Social DemocratsEditSee also: Social democrats
Socialdemokraterna ("Social democrats") has been the largest political party of Sweden since the beginning of the 20th century and has a long history of being the leading party. Out of 22 Swedish prime ministers since the split with Norway, 8 has belonged to the Social Democratic party, many of which has been re-elected as prime ministers multiple times. The Social Democrats have a democratic socialist ideology and has always been a democratic party, unlike the more radical left party which was openly communist until 1990. The party supports social welfare provision paid for by progressive taxation, a social corporatist economy, feminism, and equality of all kinds, while it strongly opposes discrimination, racism, and capitalism. As of 2012, the Social Democratic Party has approximately 100,000 members, with about 2,540 local party associations and 500 workplace associations. Although the member base is diverse, the majority of the party members are blue-collar workers and public sector employees. Its present leader, Stefan Löfven, is a former union representative of the Hägglunds military company and has also been head of the Swedish Metalworkers' Union. The party currently holds 112 out of 349 seats in the Swedish parliament, 5 out of 20 seats in the European parliament, 609 out of 1,662 seats in the Swedish countries, and 4,593 out of 12,978 seats in the Swedish municipalities. It is aligned with Socialist International, Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, as well as the Nordic SAMAK. Despite a fall of popularity in the two last election, media claims that the support for the Social Democrats is growing rapidly and has surpassed the Moderate Party as of 2012.
Moderate PartyEditSee also: Moderate Party
Moderaterna ("Moderates"), also known as Moderatpartiet ("Moderate Party) and Nya Moderaterna ("New Moderates") is a major political party in Sweden and has always competed with the Social Democrats, having opposite political views and being a quite popular party. Only two Moderate party members has been prime ministers in Swedish history; Carl Bildt in 1991-1994 and Fredrik Reinfeldt from 2006 to today. The Moderates have a centre-right, liberal and conservative ideology and supports low taxes, private enterprises and increased cooperation with the Western world interms of defense and trade. In the election in 2006, the Moderate Party
gained 26.23% of the votes and could form a coalition government by allying with several other parties, despite the main opposition (the Social Democrats) had gained 34.99% of the votes. As of 2010 the party has 55,612 members, and the party currently holds 107 out of 349 seats in the parliament, 4 out of 20 seats in the European parliament, 376 out of 1,656 seats in the Swedish countries, and 2,966 out of the 12,978 seats in the Swedish municipalities. In the 2010 election, the popularity of the Moderate party had risen from 26.23% to 30.06%, but more recently the government of Reinfeldt has seen a steady decline of popularity and is not expected to stay in power after the upcoming election in 2013. The Moderate Party has been critisized for radical privatization politics, which included selling the formerly public pharmacies and railroad companies to private owners. Also, recent tax cuts made my the Moderate Party has worsened the quality of Sweden's famous public healthcare and public education systems, as well as worsening diplomatic relations with numerous countries.
Green PartyEditSee also: Green Party
Miljöpartiet (literally "Environment Party", internationally known as the "Green Party"), was the third-largest political party according to the 2010 election. No Swedish prime minister have ever belonged to the Green Party, and the party has in fact no single leader but relies on two spokespersons with shared power over the party's politics. The Green Party has a centre-left, environmentalist political ideology and struggles mainly for a better environment and the abolishment of nuclear power. They were the first political party in Swedish history to raise the issue of climate change. In the election in 2010 the party had gained 7.34% of the voes. The party currenly has 15,545 members and holds 25 out of 349 seats in the parliament, 2 out of 20 seats in the European parliament, 103 out of 1,662 seats in the Swedish countries, and 686 out of 12,978 seats in the Swedish municipalities. Currenty the party's two "leaders" are Gustav Fridolin and Åsa Romson. Aged 29 years old, Gustav Fridolin is one of the youngest party leaders in Sweden, along with Centre party leader Annie Lööf (also 29 years old, but a few months younger), A majority of the Green Party's members are students.
Liberal People's PartyEditSee also: People's Party
Folkpartiet Liberalerna (literally "People's Party the Liberals", internationally known as the "Liberal People's Party), also known as just Folkpartiet ("People's Party"), was in 2010 the fourth-largest political party in Sweden and their leader in the 1970's, Ola Ullsten, has been the only member of the present liberal party holding the position of prime minister (though only for 359 days, 1978-1979). However, many liberal prime ministers have been in charge of the Swedish government on numerous occasions, beginning with a military coup in 1809 but has since then kept democracy and free elections as a major priority. Commonly, the Liberal People's Party is recognized as a centre-right, liberal, social liberal and, occasionally, a conservative political party. They are a part of the Alliance despite their history as a socialist-friendly party that has opposed the monarchy of Sweden. In the most recent election (in 2010) they gained 7.06% of the votes, losing 0.48% of the votes since 2006. Their popularity keeps declining despite that many Swedes have claimed to be liberal when asked by media. As of 2012 the Liberal People's Party has 17,875 members with mixed ages, professions or status in society. The party currently holds 3 out of 20 seats in the European Parliament, 117 out of 1,662 seats in the Swedish countries and 914 out of 12,978 Swedish municipality seats. Their current leader is the Swedish minister for education, Jan Björklund.
Centre PartyEditSee also: Centre Party
Centerpartiet (literally "Centre Party"), was the fifth-largest political party in the Swedish parliament as of 2010, a drastical decline from the 2006 election where they had the third-largest number of votes. The support for the party continues to decrease and it is now considered to be a relatively weak party. Nevertheless, it is the only parliamentary party with a woman as its party leader (except for the Green Party, which has one man and one woman as spokespersons). Thorbjörn Fälldin and Axel Pehrsson-Bramstorp are the only Centre Party members to have held the position of prime minister, although neither of the two stayed in power for a complete 4-year period. The Centre Party is a centre-right liberal party supportive of decentralization and agrarianism. It is no surprise that the party was formerly known as the Farmers' League.