The Centre Party (Swedish: Centerpartiet [ˈsɛ̂nːtɛrpaˌʈiːɛt] ; C) is a liberal[11][12][13] political party in Sweden, founded in 1913.

Centre Party
Centerpartiet
AbbreviationC
Party ChairmanMuharrem Demirok
Leader in the RiksdagDaniel Bäckström[1]
Party SecretaryKarin Ernlund[2]
Founded2 March 1913; 110 years ago (1913-03-02)
HeadquartersStora Nygatan 4, Gamla stan, Stockholm
Youth wingCentre Party Youth
Membership (2020)Decrease 24,445[3]
IdeologyLiberalism
Political positionCentre[4] to centre-right[5][6]
European affiliationALDE Party
International affiliationLiberal International
European Parliament groupRenew Europe
Nordic affiliationCentre Group
Colours  Green
Riksdag[7]
24 / 349
European Parliament[8]
2 / 21
County councils[9]
155 / 1,696
Municipal councils[10]
1,603 / 12,700
Website
centerpartiet.se

The party focuses on the national economy, the environment, political decentralisation and social integration. It is represented in all of the Riksdag's parliamentary committees, currently holding 24 seats. From 2019 to 2021, it provided confidence and supply to the Löfven II Cabinet.

Traditionally part of the Nordic agrarian family of political parties, the Centre Party has increasingly switched focus towards economic liberalism, environmental protection, equality of the sexes and decentralisation of governmental authority.[14][15] The party self-describes as liberal feminist,[16] campaigning for policies which enhance gender equality on an individualist basis. Its environmental policies stress the importance of consent and voluntary action,[17] including working with foresters and private landowners to promote biodiversity within a mutually agreeable framework.[18]

The Centre Party has produced two Prime Ministers of Sweden, who served a total of three terms; Thorbjörn Fälldin was the last Centre Party prime minister, and held the post for a total of 5 years, from 1976 to 1978 and then again from 1979 to 1982. It is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, the Liberal International and Renew Europe. It was originally named the Farmers' League (Swedish: Bondeförbundet [ˈbʊ̂nːdɛfœrˌbɵndɛt] ; B).

History edit

 
Farmers' League 1945 election poster

The party was founded in 1913 as the Farmers' League (Swedish: Bondeförbundet, B). In 1922, it merged with the National Farmers' Union [sv] (Swedish: Jordbrukarnas Riksförbund [ˈjûːɖˌbrʉːkaɳas ˈrɪ̂ksfœrˌbɵnd] , JR), and adopted its current name in 1957. At that time, it had been the closest ally of the centre-left Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP) for twenty-five years, and one of the SAP’s coalition partners between 1936 and 1945 as well as between 1951 and 1957. However, it later revised this strategy in order to establish a closer long-term alliance between the centre-right borgerlig ("bourgeois" or "nonsocialist") parties that achieved power between 1976 and 1982 and between 1991 and 1994.

Thorbjörn Fälldin served as Leader of the Centre Party and Prime Minister of Sweden from 1976 until 1982, except for a short interregnum between 1978 and 1979 led by Liberal People's Party leader Ola Ullsten. The Centre Party joined another centre-right government following the 1991 general election, led by Moderate Party leader Carl Bildt. During the leaderships of Maud Olofsson and Annie Lööf in the 2000s, the party positioned itself clearly on the political right as a small-business-friendly party, advocating market liberal policies and viewing the Social Democrats as its main opponent.[19][14][20]

In 2005, the Centre Party the newspaper group it owned, Centertidningar AB, for 1.8 billion SEK,[21] which made it the richest political party in the world at the time.[22] In 2022, Annie Lööf resigned her position as Leader of the Centre Party.

2006 general election edit

 
Former four-leaf clover party logo used from 2005 until 2018

The 2006 Swedish general election was a success for the Centre Party. Its support had been slowly increasing through recent elections, receiving 5.1% of the votes in 1998 and increasing this to 6.2% in 2002.[23] In the 2006 Swedish general election, 7.88% of the vote went to the Centre Party, entitling the party to 29 of the 349 seats in the Riksdag.[24] Furthermore, their alliance with the other parties in the Alliance for Sweden, a centre-right coalition which won a majority of parliament seats in this election, meant that the Centre Party shared the ministry posts with their Alliance for Sweden allies, namely the Moderate Party, the Liberal People's Party and the Christian Democrats. The strong victory by the Centre Party has been studied by political scientist Lina M. Eriksson, who in her dissertation from the Department of Government at Uppsala University, entitled "Natural Disasters and National Election", performs a rigorous statistical analysis of election data combined with interviews with Maud Olofsson, Eskil Erlandsson, Ulrica Messing and Mona Sahlin. Eriksson's research finds that both the Indian Ocean's 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and the 2005 Cyclone Gudrun (Erwin) which struck only two weeks following the tsunami are major events that impacted government popularity in the general election and contributed to the redistribution of voter support within and across party-blocs, with particularly interesting results for the Centre Party. According to this research, "[t]he core findings from this thesis show that the Swedish Social Democratic Party (S) government's poor crisis response to Gudrun, which is the hitherto most costly natural disaster in Swedish history, alone has an estimated effect of a magnitude that likely contributed to the 2006 historic regime shift, while the tsunami also seems to have mattered. The tsunami is particularly interesting, as S's poor international crisis response to the event constitutes the first natural disaster situation to knowingly have affected an election on the other side of the planet. Moreover, to some degree voters recognized the active opposition by C as effective representation and rewarded the party for its strong stance on the poor handling of both events by S. In fact, the active voice of C concerning these disasters likely helped move the party from the periphery of party politics to becoming the third-largest party in Swedish politics".[25] Part of the dissertation has been published in Electoral Studies which is to be considered the leading scientific journal in election research. In the article,[26] long-term effects are also found over the 2010 and 2014 Swedish general elections, implying that the Cyclone Gudrun in particular triggered long-lasting changes in voter support from the left to the right side of the political spectrum. A comprehensive summary of the dissertation is available for download via Uppsala University.[27]

Ideology and political position edit

The Centre Party has been also described as social-liberal,[28] economically liberal,[29] and "ecological-liberal".[30] It describes itself as a green-liberal and libertarian party,[31][32] while it has been traditionally associated with agrarianism and the Nordic agrarian party family.[33][34][35]

National economy edit

The party has been described as one of Sweden's most market liberal parties in liberal, socialist and conservative media.[36] It describes itself as "a party with a green, social and decentralised liberalism".[37] The party advocates lower taxes, greatly reduced employer contributions, a freer market and an increased RUT-deduction. The party is a major supporter of the interests of small businesses, farmers and entrepreneurs.[38] It also favours investments in infrastructure and transportation, to allow employees to work in bigger cities but still live in the rural areas and vice versa. On economic policy, it views the Social Democrats and the Sweden Democrats as its opponents, though it supported a government led by the Social Democrats till 2022.

Immigration edit

The party is liberal on immigration, seeking to combine a generous immigration policy with an initially more restrictive contribution policy to the immigrants. After the European migrant crisis, the party proposed to replace the existing establishment grants with establishment loans, similar to the Swedish student loans.[39]

The balance of the state responsibility of accepting refugees with their responsibility for integration into Swedish society is at the core of the party policy. In January 2016, the party for example proposed to give all immigrants compulsory civic education in both rights and expectations from the society.[40]

European Union edit

The party is a decentralist pro-European party that considers the European Union important for the preservation of peace, freedom and trade in Europe. The party also advocates a smaller but sharper European Union focused on promoting democracy, peace, free movement, free trade, vigorous action against climate change and collaboration against organized crime, while also believing that Sweden should stay outside the European monetary union and keep the krona as its currency.[41]

The party is a member of the ALDE Party and its affiliated European Parliament group Renew Europe.[42] In the European Committee of the Regions, the Centre Party sits with the Renew Europe CoR group with one full and one alternate member for the 2020-2025 mandate.[43][44]

Publications edit

The Centre Party owned a media consortium called Centertidningar AB. It included newspapers that the party had either started on their own or brought from competitors. It included Hallands Nyheter, Södermanlands Nyheter, Länstidningen i Södertälje, Nynäshamns Posten, Norrtelje Tidning, Lidingö Tidning, Ljusdalsposten, Östersunds-Posten, Hälsingekuriren and Hudiksvalls Tidning. The consortium was split in 2005 and sold to Mittmedia, Stampen Group and VLT for a total of 1.815 billion Swedish kronor.

Electoral results edit

Riksdag edit

Election Votes % Seats +/– Government
Sep
1914
1,507 0.2 (#4)
0 / 230
Extra-parliamentary
1917 39,262 5.3 (#5)
9 / 230
  9 Opposition
1920 52,318 7.9 (#4)
20 / 230
  11 Opposition
1921 192,269 11.0 (#4)
21 / 230
  9 Opposition
1924 190,396 10.8 (#4)
23 / 230
  2 Opposition
1928 263,501 11.2 (#4)
27 / 230
  4 Opposition
1932 321,215 14.1 (#3)
36 / 230
  9 Opposition (1932–1936)
Minority (1936)
1936 418,840 14.4 (#3)
36 / 230
  0 Coalition
1940 344,345 12.0 (#3)
28 / 230
  8 Coalition
1944 421,094 13.6 (#3)
35 / 230
  7 Coalition (1944–1945)
Opposition (1945–1948)
1948 480,421 12.4 (#3)
30 / 230
  5 Opposition
1952 406,183 10.7 (#4)
26 / 230
  4 Coalition
1956 366,612 9.5 (#4)
19 / 231
  7 Coalition
1958 486,760 12.7 (#4)
32 / 231
  13 Opposition
1960 579,007 13.6 (#4)
34 / 232
  2 Opposition
1964 559,632 13.2 (#4)
36 / 233
  1 Opposition
1968 757,215 15.7 (#2)
39 / 233
  3 Opposition
1970 991,208 19.9 (#2)
71 / 350
  32 Opposition
1973 1,295,246 25.1 (#2)
90 / 350
  19 Opposition
1976 1,309,669 24.1 (#2)
86 / 349
  4 Coalition (1976–1978)
Opposition (1978–1979)
1979 984,589 18.1 (#3)
64 / 349
  22 Coalition
1982 859,618 15.5 (#3)
56 / 349
  8 Opposition
1985 490,999 8.8 (#4)
43 / 349
  13 Opposition
1988 607,240 11.3 (#4)
42 / 349
  1 Opposition
1991 465,356 8.5 (#4)
31 / 349
  11 Coalition
1994 425,153 7.7 (#3)
27 / 349
  4 Opposition
1998 269,762 5.1 (#5)
18 / 349
  9 Opposition
2002 328,428 6.2 (#6)
22 / 349
  4 Opposition
2006 437,389 7.9 (#3)
29 / 349
  7 Coalition
2010 390,804 6.6 (#5)
23 / 349
  6 Coalition
2014 370,834 6.1 (#5)
22 / 349
  1 Opposition
2018 557,500 8.6 (#4)
31 / 349
  9 External support
2022 434,945 6.7 (#5)
24 / 349
  7 Opposition

European Parliament edit

Election Votes % Seats +/–
1995 192,077 7.2 (#5)
2 / 22
1999 151,442 6.0 (#7)
1 / 22
  1
2004 157,258 6.3 (#6)
1 / 19
  0
2009 173,414 5.5 (#7)
1 / 18
1 / 20
  0
  0
2014 241,101 6.5 (#6)
1 / 20
  0
2019 447,641 10.8 (#5)
2 / 20
  1

Voter base edit

 
Centre Party election results for 2006, showing the significant focus of Centre Party support in rural areas
  0-4.9%
  5-7.8%
  8-11.9%
  12-15.9%
  16%+

Traditionally, most of the party's voters come from rural areas and include farmers and agricultural producers. Since the takeover of Maud Olofsson in recent years, the party has been attracting liberal voters from urban areas in central Sweden. It is believed that voters from the Liberals have been moving to the Centre Party due to changes in both parties.[45]

Leaders of the Centre Party edit

The Leader of the Centre Party is its highest political and organisational officer, its president in the National Executive Board and representative of the party in the media, in public and with other parties.[46] The party leader has often held an important cabinet portfolio when the party has been part of a coalition.

Name Portrait Period Notes
Erik Eriksson
1916–1920
Johan Andersson
1920–1924
Johan Johansson
1924–1928
Olof Olsson
1928–1934
Axel Pehrsson-Bramstorp
1934–1949 Prime Minister of Sweden 19 June 1936 to 28 September 1936
Minister of Agriculture 1936 to 1945
Gunnar Hedlund
1949–1971 Minister of the Interior 1951 to 1957
Thorbjörn Fälldin
1971–1985 Twice Prime Minister of Sweden 1976 to 1978, and 1979 to 1982
Karin Söder
1985–1987 First woman in Sweden to be elected the leader of a major political party
One of the first female foreign ministers in the world
Minister for Foreign Affairs 1976 to 1978
Minister for Health and Social Affairs 1979 to 1982
Olof Johansson
1987–1998 Minister for Energy 1976 to 1978
Minister for the Environment 1991 to 1994
Lennart Daléus
1998–2001
Maud Olofsson
2001–2011 Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden from 2006 to 2010
Minister for Enterprise and Energy from 2006 to 2011
Annie Lööf
2011–2023 Minister for Enterprise from 2011 to 2014
Muharrem Demirok 2023–

Current Members of Parliament edit

Current Members of Parliament include:[47]

Party leadership edit

The current party leadership include:[48]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Centerpartiet". Riksdag. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  2. ^ "Karin Ernlund ny partisekretare for Centerpartiet". centerpartiet.se. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  3. ^ "Tusentals medlemmar lämnade S i fjol – bara SD ökade" [Thousands of members leave S last year – only SD increases]. Nyheter Idag (in Swedish). 30 April 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  4. ^ Josep M. Colomer (25 July 2008). Political Institutions in Europe. Routledge. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-134-07354-2. Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  5. ^ Robert Sundberg (20 September 2013). Centerpartiet glider åt höger (in Swedish). Dala-demokraten. Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  6. ^ Milne, Richard (24 November 2021). "Sweden's prime minister resigns just hours after taking office". Financial Times. London. Archived from the original on 10 December 2022. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  7. ^ "2018: Val till riksdagen – Valda" (in Swedish). Election Authority (Sweden). Archived from the original on 12 May 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  8. ^ "European Parliamentary election results". Election Authority (Sweden). 31 May 2019. Archived from the original on 4 July 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  9. ^ "2018: Val till landstingsfullmäktige – Valda" (in Swedish). Election Authority (Sweden). Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  10. ^ "2018: Val till kommunfullmäktige – Valda" (in Swedish). Election Authority (Sweden). Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Magdalena Andersson, Sweden's first female PM, unveils new cabinet". euronews. 29 November 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  12. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2018). "Sweden". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Swedish Social Democrat Löfven is asked to return as PM". euractiv.com. 6 July 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  14. ^ a b "The Centre Party – Centerpartiet". Sveriges Radio. 7 August 2014. Archived from the original on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  15. ^ Carina Bischoff; Marlene Wind (14 August 2015). "Sweden". In Donatella M. Viola (ed.). Routledge Handbook of European Elections. Routledge. p. 418. ISBN 978-1-317-50363-7. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Jämställdhet". Centre Party. Archived from the original on 6 September 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  17. ^ "Biologisk mångfald". Centre Party. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Engagerade privata skogsägare har skapat mångfalden i skogen – inte trädkramarna". Allehanda.se (in Swedish). 20 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  19. ^ "Guide: Centerpartiets historia och ideologi Archived 28 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine", DN, 2011-04-18
  20. ^ "'The Centre Party is a confused party': expert Archived 5 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine", The Local, 14 January 2013
  21. ^ "Näringsliv – affärsnyheter, börs och analys". Svenska Dagbladet. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  22. ^ Privata Affärer – Centern blir världens rikaste politiska parti Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Väljarbarometern samtliga Archived 13 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "Allmänna val 17 september 2006". Archived from the original on 9 August 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2006.
  25. ^ "Natural Disaster and National Election".[full citation needed][permanent dead link]
  26. ^ Eriksson, Lina M. (2016). "Winds of Change: Voter Blame and Storm Gudrun in the 2006 Swedish Parliamentary Election". Electoral Studies. 41: 129. doi:10.1016/j.electstud.2015.12.003.
  27. ^ "Natural Disasters and National Election".[full citation needed]
  28. ^ Slomp, Hans (2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 437. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8.
  29. ^ "Immigrants and Swedes need the same things". The Local Sweden. 13 June 2022. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  30. ^ Schaffer, Sebastian; Detzer, Sandra (24 August 2018). "The Comeback of the Swedish Center Party – an Eco-Liberal Story of Hope for Europe?". Zentrum Liberale Moderne (in German). Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  31. ^ "Socialliberal, nyliberal, grön liberal eller bara liberal? – Centerpartiet".
  32. ^ "Centerpartiet på 3 minuter". centerpartiet.se. Centre Party. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  33. ^ Svante Ersson; Jan-Erik Lane (1998). Politics and Society in Western Europe. SAGE. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-7619-5862-8. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  34. ^ Gary Marks; Carole Wilson (1999). "National Parties and the Contestation of Europe". In T. Banchoff; Mitchell P. Smith (eds.). Legitimacy and the European Union. Taylor & Francis. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-415-18188-4. Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  35. ^ David Blandford; Berkeley Hill (2006). Policy Reform and Adjustment in the Agricultural Sectors of Developed Countries. CABI. p. 110. ISBN 9781845930332.
  36. ^ "Centerpartiet starkt framåt i ny väljarundersökning". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 8 December 2016. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.[full citation needed]
  37. ^ "Vår ideologi: Sverige och världen i framtiden" (in Swedish). Centre Party. Archived from the original on 20 February 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  38. ^ "Ekonomisk politik" (in Swedish). Centre Party. Archived from the original on 20 February 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  39. ^ Nyheter, S. V. T. (4 April 2016). "C vill ersätta bidrag med etableringslån". SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  40. ^ "Inför obligatorisk samhällsinformation för nyanlända" (in Swedish). Expressen. 14 January 2016. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  41. ^ "Europa" (in Swedish). Centre Party. Retrieved 31 July 2019.[permanent dead link]
  42. ^ "Member Parties". ALDE. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  43. ^ "CoR Members Page". Archived from the original on 29 December 2016.
  44. ^ "CoR Members Page". Archived from the original on 29 December 2016.
  45. ^ "Towards a two-party system? The Swedish parliamentary election of September 2006", Nicholas Aylott and Niklas Bolin, West European Politics, 2007 forthcoming
  46. ^ "Partistyrelsen". centerpartiet.se. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  47. ^ "Riksdagsledamöter". centerpartiet.se (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  48. ^ "Partistyrelsen". centerpartiet.se (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.

External links edit