Sweden - Political parties

Party descriptions and CMP left-right scores
Party Type 91 94 98 02 06 10 Average
SAP Social Democratic -6.2 23.8 -3.5 -18.3 -21.4 23.8 -0.3
M Conservative 43.8 40.2 37.4 38.1 4.9 15.9 30
MP Ecologist -12.6 -6.2 -36.1 -26.1 -11.1 21 -11.9
FP Liberal 3.9 19.3 14.3 0.9 14.9 28 13.5
C Agrarian 5.4 21.8 11.6 10.6 -3.2 16.6 10.5
SD Nationalist 23 23
KD Christian Democratic -4.6 14 4.8 6.3 0.8 29.8 8.5
VP Communist -42.8 -27.3 -36 -33.7 -27.8 16.5 -25.1

The table shows the periodical scores on left-right position as given in the Comparative Manifesto Project (Volkens, Andrea, et.al., 2010). The scores range from -100 (left) to +100 (right).

Type: Tentative grouping of political parties and alliances based on information provided in the Comparative Manifesto Project and from party descriptions in Europa World Yearbook, Encyclopædia Britannica and in election reports from the European Journal of Political Research and/or Electoral Studies.

SAP - Swedish Social Democratic Party - (Sveriges Socialdemokratiska Arbetarparti)

SAP is Sweden's oldest existing political party. From its founding in 1889, the party was committed to the creation of an egalitarian society. From 1932 to 1976 (except for a brief period in 1936), the SAP held power continuously, sometimes in coalition with various groups on the left. By the time it left office in 1976, it had transformed Swedish society. Implementing the policy of the “people's home”, the idea that society should provide a place of safety for the people, the SAP created one of the world's most comprehensive systems of welfare, including allowances for children and for housing, health insurance, pensions, and a reform and expansion of the educational system. By the 1970s the SAP no longer dominated Swedish politics unchallenged, mostly stemmming from high rates of inflation and a growing budget deficit, which made it difficult to maintain the country's generous welfare system.

M - Moderate Party - (Moderaterna)

Founded in 1904 as the Conservative Party but took its current name in 1969. From its inception the party promoted a market economy, lower taxes, and a smaller role for the government in the economy. For much of its history the Moderate Party played only a relatively minor part within the opposition. Beginning in the 1980s, however, particularly as Sweden's economy suffered, the Moderate Party gained strength in the Riksdag (parliament), where it became the second largest party. After nearly 45 years of rule by the SAP, a nonsocialist coalition came to power in 1976, and for part of this government's tenure (1979–81) the Moderate Party joined the coalition. Following the elections of 1991, the Moderate Party formed a four-party coalition government, and its leader, Carl Bildt, became prime minister. In office the Moderate Party promoted deregulation, reductions in government spending, privatization of public services, and programs designed to reduce inflation and budget deficits. In 2006 the Moderate Party and its allies narrowly defeated the Social Democrats, and the leader of the Moderate Party, Fredrik Reinfeldt, became prime minister.

MP - Green Party - (Miljöpartiet de Gröna)

Founded in 1981 from an anti-nuclear power movement and entered the legislature for the first time in 1988. The party emphasizes "green politics" and opposes Sweden's membership to the EU. It has supported SAP's government but has not participated in any governments.

FP - Liberal People's Party - (Folkepartiet Liberalerna)

Social liberal party founded in 1902. Advocates market-orientated economy and social welfare system. Served as a junior partner in Carl Bildt's four-party coalition government during the period 1991-1994.

C - Centre Party - (Centerpartiet)

Founded in 1910 as agrarian party, the Farmer’s League (Bondeförbundet) but acquired its present name in 1958. The party has maintained close ties with the rural Sweden. In the European context, the party has a social liberal profile focusing on social, environmental and progressive development and decentralization. It participated in Bildt's coalition government from 1991-1994 and in Reinfeldts coalition government from 2006.

SD - Sweden Democrats - (Sverigedemokraterna)

Nationalist party founded in 1988, emphasising anti-immigration politics. In the 2010 general elections the party won 5,7 percent of the votes, and for the first time passed the limit required for representation in the Swedish parliament.

KD - Christian Democrats - (Kristendemokraterne)

Established in 1964 as the Christian Democratic Unity (Kristdemokratiska Samhällspartiet, KdS) but changed its name in 1996. The party may be considered a traditional Christian-democratic party and projects a "family-friendly" image. The party was represented in parliament for the first time in 1985 and took part in Carl Bildt's government coalition of 1991-1994.

VP - Left Party - (Vänsterpartiet)

Established in 1917 as the Swedish Left Social Democratic Party (Sveriges socialdemokratiska vänsterparti) following a split in the SAP. From 1921-1967 it was known as the Swedish Communist Party (Sveriges kommunistiska parti, SKP) and from 1967-1990 as Left Party - Communists (Vänsterpartiet kommunisterna, VPK). The Left Party's policy is built around three main pillars: socialism, feminism and environment. Campaigned against the Swedish entry into the EU and remains sceptic to the monetary union.


Political Organizations (Sweden). 2009. In Europa World online. London, Routledge. University of Bergen. Retrieved October 2009 from http://www.europaworld.com/entry/se.dir.54

Electoral Studies (Elsevier), election reports on Sweden.

European Journal of Political Research (European Consortium for Political Research), reports on Sweden.

Budge, I.; Klingemann, H.-D.; Volkens, A.; Bara, J.; Tanenbaum, E., with Fording, R.C.; Hearl, D.J.; Kim, H.M.; McDonald, M. and Mendez, S. (2001). Mapping Policy Preferences. Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments 1945-1998. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Klingemann, H.D.; Volkens, A.; Bara, J.; Budge, I.; McDonald, M. (2006). Mapping Policy Preferences II. Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments in Eastern Europe, the European Union and the OECD, 1990-2003. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Volkens, Andrea; Lacewell, Onawa; Regel, Sven; Schultze, Henrike; Werner, Annika (2010): The Manifesto Data Collection. Manifesto Project (MRG/CMP/MARPOR), Berlin: Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB): http://manifesto-project.wzb.eu/