Swedish polling and politics running up to general election 2014 March 2, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, The Left.
In the first of a series of planned articles on opinion polling and politics around Europe, I’ll examine the polling and political situation in Sweden during the period of January 2012 through to January 2014.
1. Political overview
In the aftermath of the Swedish General election of 2010 the Riksdag(Swedish Parliament) was divided amongst eight distinct parties and three distinct camps. These parties included amongst them the following:
Sveriges Socialdemokratiska arbetarparti(Swedish Social Democratic Workers’ Party, SAP, [2010 Result:30.66%,112 seats]) – (Electorally as: Arbetarepartiet-Socialdemokraterna)
Moderata samlingspartiet (Moderate Party, M, [2010 Result:30.06%,107 seats])
Miljöpartiet de Gröna (Green Party, MP, [2010 Result:7.34%,25 seats])
Folkpartiet Liberalerna (Liberal People’s Party, FP, [2010 Result:7.06%,24 Seats])
Centerpartiet (Centre Party, C, [2010 Result:6.56%,23 Seats])
Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden Democrats, SD, [2010 Result:5.70%,20 Seats])
Vänsterpartiet (Left Party, VP, [2010 Result:5.60%,20 Seats])
Kristdemokraterna (Christian Democrats, KD, [2010 Result:5.60%,19 Seats])
The Moderate Party, Centre Party, Liberal People’s Party and Christian Democrats together form the Alliansen, which is the current governing bloc in Sweden, and control a collective total of 173 of the 349 seats in the Riksdag; they, as can be seen, were short of the majority point of 175 seats. In opposition to the Alliansen is De rödgröna, an alliance of the Social Democrats, Green Party and Left Party; De rödgröna controls 156 seats in the Riksdag. The third camp in the Riksdag are the Far-right Sweden Democrats who, owing to their perceived extremism, are without any allies in the Riksdag so sit alone with the 20 seats.
2. Electoral system overview
In Sweden, the electoral system is an open party list with 310 seats divided amongst 29 constituencies, based for the most part on the counties of Sweden but with the larger counties being split up into smaller units. On top of the constituency seats there are 39 adjustment seats at national level, which are divided amongst the parties based both on the total number of votes received nationally and the amount of seats won at constituency level. Allocation of seats at all levels is determined according to the modified Sainte-Laguë method, a form of highest averages method not too dissimilar to D’hondt, but widely recognised in its unmodified form to be ‘fairer’ than D’hondt; in its modified form it performs much the same as D’hondt. Parties are subject to two different sets of ‘thresholds’ during an election to the Riksdag; a 4% threshold applies nationally which, if achieved, entitles parties to participate in the distribution of seats at both the constituency level and the national adjustment level, and a 12% threshold applies at the constituency level for parties not reaching the 4% national threshold, if this is achieved, a party is entitled to participate in the seat distribution for that constituency.