Political parties and elections
The Swedish Social Democratic Party has played a leading role in Swedish politics since 1917, after the Reformists had confirmed their strength and the left-wing revolutionaries formed their own party. After 1932, most governments have been dominated by the Social Democrats. Only five general elections since World War II—1976, 1979, 1991, 2006 and 2010—have given the assembled block of centre-right parties enough seats to form a government.
For over 50 years, Sweden had had five parties who continually received enough votes to gain seats in the parliament — the Social Democrats, the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal People’s Party and the Left Party—before the Green Party became the sixth party in the 1988 election. In the 1991 election, while the Greens lost their seats, two new parties gained seats for the first time: the Christian Democrats and New Democracy. It was not until elections in 2010 that an eighth party, the Sweden Democrats, gained Riksdag seats. In the elections to the European Parliament, parties who have failed to pass the parliament threshold have managed to gain representation at that venue: the June List (2004–2009), the Pirate Party (2009–2014), and Feminist Initiative (2014–present).
In the 2006 general election the Moderate Party formed the centre-right Alliance for Sweden bloc and won a majority of the parliament seats. In the 2010 general election the Alliance contended against a unified left block consisting of the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left Party. The Alliance won a plurality of 173 seats, but remained two seats short of a 175-seat majority. Nevertheless, neither the Alliance, nor the left block, chose to form a coalition with the Sweden Democrats.
The outcome of the 2014 general election resulted in the attainment of more seats by the three centre-left parties in comparison to the centre-right Alliance for Sweden, with the two blocs receiving 159 and 141 seats respectively. The non-aligned Sweden Democrats more than doubled their support and won the remaining 49 seats. On 3 October 2014, Stefan Löfven, formed a minority government consisting of the Social Democrats and the Greens.
Election turnout in Sweden has always been high by international comparison. Although it declined in recent decades, the latest elections saw an increase in voter turnout (80.11% in 2002, 81.99% in 2006, 84.63% in 2010) and 85.81 in 2014. Swedish politicians enjoyed a high degree of confidence from the citizens in the 1960s, However, that level of confidence has since declined steadily, and is now at a markedly lower level than in its Scandinavian neighbours.
Swedish politicians enjoyed a high degree of confidence from the citizens in the 1960s, However, that level of confidence has since declined steadily, and is now at a markedly lower level than in its Scandinavian neighbours.