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The Alliance (Swedish: Alliansen), formerly the Alliance for Sweden (Allians för Sverige), was a centre-right liberal conservative political alliance in Sweden.

The Alliance

Alliansen
ModerateUlf Kristersson
CentreAnnie Lööf
Christian DemocratsEbba Busch Thor
LiberalsJan Björklund
Founded31 August 2004
Dissolved11 January 2019
Political positionCentre-right
Colors     Orange      Blue
Parliament
143 / 349
Website
www.alliansen.se

The Alliance consisted of the four centre-right political parties in the Riksdag. The Alliance was formed while in opposition, and later achieved a majority government in the 2006 general election and a minority government in the 2010 general election, governing Sweden from 2006 to 2014 with Fredrik Reinfeldt of the Moderate Party serving as Prime Minister of Sweden until 2014. The Alliance was co-chaired by every component party's individual leaders.

After defeat in 2014, the Moderate Party's parliamentary group leader Anna Kinberg Batra announced to the Riksdag that the political alliance "would operate in opposition".

On 11 January 2019, during the 2018-19 Swedish government formation, the Centre and Liberals agreed to tolerate a social democratic government - allowing Stefan Löfven to continue serving as Prime Minister.[1] Both Ulf Kristersson and Ebba Busch Thor denounced the agreement, with Busch Thor calling the Alliance "a closed chapter".[2]

Members of the AllianceEdit

 
Four leaders together

The Alliance consisted of the four centre-right (Swedish: borgerlig, lit. "bourgeois") parties in the Riksdag (Sweden's parliament). The members were:

History of the AllianceEdit

Swedish politics had been dominated by the Social Democratic Party for over 70 years. They had been in government for all but nine years since 1932 (summer of 1936, 1976–1982, 1991–1994). The opposition parties decided that this was partly because they did not present a clear and viable alternative government.[when?] At a 2004 meeting held in the Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson's home in the village of Högfors, the four centre-right leaders at the time; Göran Hägglund (KD), Lars Leijonborg (L), Maud Olofsson (C) and Fredrik Reinfeldt (M) decided to form the political cooperation that would become The Alliance. The meeting ended on 31 August 2004 with the presentation of a joint declaration outlining the principles under which the four parties intended to fight the election.[3] A year later a similar meeting was held at Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund's home in Bankeryd, resulting in the affirmation of the alliance and another declaration.[4]

Aims and policies of the AllianceEdit

 
Alliance for Sweden's press conference in Sundsvall during the bus tour of 6–7 March 2006. From left to right: Reinfeldt, Olofsson, Hägglund and Leijonborg.
 
The Alliance the day before the 2010 election. From left to right: Hägglund, Björklund, Olofsson and Reinfeldt

The centre-right Alliance for Sweden aimed to win a majority of seats in the 2006 Riksdag elections and to form a coalition government.

In order to do this, the member parties decided to issue common policy statements and to draft a joint election manifesto. Each individual party still had its own manifesto and policies, but these would build up from common proposals in the Alliance's joint proposals. The Alliance had policy working groups for six areas: economic policy, education policy, foreign policy, the welfare state, employment and business policy, and policing. These were not set according to party size, but with one senior politician (often an MP) and one staff per party, and following the idea that "everybody contributes and everybody gains".[5]

An example of this policy cooperation was the budget proposal that the Alliance parties put forward on 2 October 2005. The core proposal was a tax cut of 49 billion Swedish kronor, which is 1.9% of GDP and 3.3% of the total income of the public sector in 2005.[6] Each individual party also proposed its own policies in addition. For example, the Liberals waned to spend 1bn kronor extra on tertiary education and the Christian Democrats want to have more benefits and tax deductions for families.

On 14 June 2006 Alliance for Sweden agreed on a common energy policy which would apply over the next parliamentary term (2006–2010), and included a promise not to shut down any more nuclear reactors during that period (Barsebäck 2 was shut down in 2005). The proposal was that no more reactors were to be built, that the nuclear phase-out law would be repealed and that all forms of energy research would be legal and able to receive state grants (research on nuclear power is currently forbidden in Sweden). An Alliance government would also grant any applications to increase the output of the existing plants, provided that it would be safe to do so.[7] This has been hailed as a historic step, as disagreement over nuclear power has long plagued the centre-right in Sweden: the Centre Party opposes nuclear power, the Moderates and Christian Democrats support its continuing operation while the Liberals want to build more reactors. Some doubts were raised about the long-term survival of this compromise, as neither the Centre Party nor the Liberals have changed their fundamental positions on nuclear power.

On 5 July 2006, during the politics week at Almedalen on Gotland, the Alliance parties announced a plan to abolish property tax. Their agreement promised to freeze taxable values at the current level (so that the revaluation that was being carried out would not apply), and to reduce the rate of tax on apartments from 0.5% to 0.4% of their taxable value.[8] A ceiling of 5000 kronor would also be imposed on the taxation of the value of a house's plot. The parties also agreed on the abolition of the tax and its replacement with a municipal charge independent of the value of the property; this reform was planned to be carried out in 2008. Property tax is estimated to bring in 28.1 billion kronor in 2006, rising to 30.2bn in 2007 and 32.2bn in 2008 (as taxable values rise). The first stage of the Alliance's plan (freezing property values, capping the tax on land value and reducing the rate for apartments) is estimated to cost around 4-5 billion kronor. The financing of this was to be revealed in the Alliance's manifesto in August 2006.

Alliance for Sweden released its election manifesto,[9] entitled More people at work - more to share (Swedish: Fler i arbete - mer att dela på), on 23 August 2006.

The result of the election was clear enough on election night for Moderate Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt to declare himself the victor and for Göran Persson to announce his resignation as Prime Minister and as leader of the Social Democratic Party. The four centre-right parties of Alliance for Sweden formed a government with Fredrik Reinfeldt as Prime Minister, which was presented to the Riksdag on 6 October.

The Alliance government (2006-2014)Edit

Minister for Finance Anders Borg presented the government's first budget[10] on 16 October 2006. The budget contains many of the proposals that were prominent in the Alliance's election campaign: both the job deduction in the income tax, which will also be larger for old people to encourage them to remain in the labour market, and the "fresh start jobs" with reduced payroll tax for companies employing people who have been unemployed for more than a year will come into effect from 1 January 2007. Tax reductions for companies hiring young people and for domestic services are to come into effect on 1 July. The tax reductions announced in the budget total 42 billion Swedish kronor,[11] of which the income tax deduction is 38.7 billion. Other changes include the ending of employers' co-financing of sickness benefit after the second week, reduction of unemployment benefits and considerably raised fees to unemployment funds, resulting in a substantial decline in union density and density of unemployment funds.[12][13] Unemployment benefit would remain 80% of previous pay for 200 days then drop to 70%. Benefit would be payable for a maximum of 300 days, or 450 if the recipient has children.

List of Alliance party leadersEdit

Year Moderate Party Centre Party Liberals Christian Democrats
2004 Fredrik Reinfeldt
Leader 2003–2015
Prime Minister 2006–2014
Maud Olofsson
Leader 2001–2011
Deputy Prime Minister 2006–2010
Minister for Enterprise 2006–2011
Lars Leijonborg
Leader 1997–2007
Minister for Education 2006–2007
Göran Hägglund
Leader 2004–2015
Minister for Health and Social Affairs 2006–2014
2005
2006
2007 Jan Björklund
Leader 7 September 2007 – present
Minister for School 2006–2007
Minister for Education 2007–2014
Deputy Prime Minister 2010–2014
2008
2009
2010
2011 Annie Lööf
Leader 23 September 2011 – present
Minister for Enterprise and Regional Affairs 2011–2014
2012
2013
2014
2015
Anna Kinberg Batra
Leader 10 January 2015 – 1 October 2017
Ebba Busch Thor
Leader 25 April 2015 – present
2016
2017
Ulf Kristersson
Leader 1 October 2017 – present
2018

Electoral historyEdit

 
Four leaders in February 2018.
 
Four leaders in February 2018.

In 1991, the Alliance was called the Centre-Right Parties. They formed a centre-right minority coalition government in 1991 with the support of the right-wing populist party New Democracy. After the coalition was defeated in the 1994 election, the Centre-Right Parties coalition was dissolved but the centre-right opposition parties continued to work together. In 2004, the four parties which formed the Centre-Right Parties in 1991, the Moderate Party, Centre Party, Liberal People's Party and Christian Democrats wanted to collaborate again, so they founded The Alliance as a new coalition of the centre-right parties.

Parliament (Riksdag)Edit

Election # of
overall seats won
+/- Party Government Party leaders
1991
170 / 349
  18 Alliance in minority government also C&S with New Democracy N/A
80 / 349
  14 Moderate Carl Bildt
33 / 349
  11 Liberal Bengt Westerberg
31 / 349
  11 Centre Olof Johansson
26 / 349
  26 Christian Democrats Alf Svensson
1994
148 / 349
  22 Alliance in opposition N/A
80 / 349
  Moderate Carl Bildt
27 / 349
  4 Centre Olof Johansson
26 / 349
  7 Liberal Bengt Westerberg
15 / 349
  11 Christian Democrats Alf Svensson
1998
159 / 349
  11 Alliance in opposition N/A
82 / 349
  2 Moderate Carl Bildt
42 / 349
  27 Christian Democrats Alf Svensson
18 / 349
  9 Centre Lennart Daléus
17 / 349
  9 Liberal Lars Leijonborg
2002
158 / 349
  1 Alliance in opposition N/A
55 / 349
  27 Moderate Bo Lundgren
48 / 349
  31 Liberal Lars Leijonborg
33 / 349
  9 Christian Democrats Alf Svensson
22 / 349
  4 Centre Maud Olofsson
2006
178 / 349
  20 Alliance in majority government coalition N/A
97 / 349
  42 Moderate Fredrik Reinfeldt
29 / 349
  7 Centre Maud Olofsson
28 / 349
  20 Liberal Lars Leijonborg
24 / 349
  9 Christian Democrats Göran Hägglund
2010
173 / 349
  5 Alliance in minority government coalition N/A
107 / 349
  10 Moderate Fredrik Reinfeldt
24 / 349
  4 Liberal Jan Björklund
23 / 349
  6 Centre Maud Olofsson
19 / 349
  5 Christian Democrats Göran Hägglund
2014
141 / 349
  32 Alliance in opposition N/A
84 / 349
  23 Moderate Fredrik Reinfeldt
22 / 349
  1 Centre Annie Lööf
19 / 349
  5 Liberal Jan Björklund
16 / 349
  3 Christian Democrats Göran Hägglund
2018
143 / 349
  2 Alliance Dissolved on 11 January 2019 N/A
70 / 349
  14 Moderate in opposition Ulf Kristersson
31 / 349
  9 Centre Supporting minority government Annie Lööf
22 / 349
  6 Christian Democrats in opposition Ebba Busch Thor
20 / 349
  1 Liberal Supporting minority government Jan Björklund

European ParliamentEdit

Election # of
overall seats won
+/- Party
1995
10 / 22
  10 Alliance
1999
11 / 22
  1 Alliance
2004
8 / 19
  3 Alliance
2009 [14]
9 / 18
  1 Alliance
9 / 20
2014
7 / 20
  2 Alliance

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Swedish parties strike deal to end political deadlock". www.thelocal.se. 2019-01-11. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  2. ^ Kudo, Per; Svensson, Frida. "Busch Thor: Alliansen är ett avslutat kapitel | SvD". SvD.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  3. ^ "Allians för Sverige" (PDF) (in Swedish). Allians för Sverige. 31 August 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  4. ^ "Program för arbete" (PDF) (in Swedish). Allians för Sverige. 31 August 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Ännu fler ministrar". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  6. ^ "En tunn agenda för reformer". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 4 October 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  7. ^ Ewing, Adam (14 June 2006). "Alliance agrees to keep nuclear". The Local. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  8. ^ Ewing, Adam (4 July 2006). "Alliance to abolish property tax". The Local. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Fler i arbete – mer att dela på" (PDF) (in Swedish). Allians för Sverige. 23 August 2006. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 11, 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  10. ^ "Autumn Budget Bill: Putting Sweden to work - a good deal for all". Ministry of Finance. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  11. ^ O'Mahony, Paul (16 October 2006). "Swedish tax slashed by 42 billion kronor". The Local. Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  12. ^ Anders Kjellberg (2011) "The Decline in Swedish Union Density since 2007" Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies (NJWLS) Vol. 1. No 1 (August 2011), pp. 67-93
  13. ^ Anders Kjellberg and Christian Lyhne Ibsen (2016) "Attacks on union organizing: Reversible and irreversible changes to the Ghent-systems in Sweden and Denmark" in Trine Pernille Larsen and Anna Ilsøe (eds.)(2016) Den Danske Model set udefra (The Danish Model Inside Out) - komparative perspektiver på dansk arbejdsmarkedsregulering, Copenhagen: Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag (pp.279-302)
  14. ^ From December 2011 Sweden was allocated 2 more seats

External linksEdit