Centre Party (Sweden)

The Centre Party (Swedish: Centerpartiet, C) is a liberal[12][13] and agrarian[12][13] political party in Sweden. It is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, the Liberal International and the Renew Europe parliamentary group.

Centre Party

Centerpartiet
AbbreviationC
Party ChairmanAnnie Lööf
Leader in the RiksdagAnders W. Jonsson[1]
Founded2 March 1913; 107 years ago (1913-03-02)
HeadquartersStora Nygatan 4, Gamla stan, Stockholm
Youth wingCentre Party Youth
Membership (2017)29,107[2]
IdeologyLiberalism[3]
Agrarianism[3][4]
Social liberalism[5]
Political positionCentre[6] to centre-right[7]
European affiliationAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
International affiliationLiberal International
European Parliament groupRenew Europe
Nordic affiliationCentre Group
Colours  Green
Riksdag[8]
31 / 349
European Parliament[9]
2 / 21
County councils[10]
155 / 1,696
Municipal councils[11]
1,603 / 12,700
Website
centerpartiet.se

Founded in 1913 as the Farmers' League (Swedish: Bondeförbundet, B) and traditionally part of the Nordic agrarian party family, the Centre Party has increasingly shifted its focus towards free-market economics, environmental protection, gender equality and decentralisation of governmental authority.[14][15] The party has held the position of Prime Minister of Sweden three times, most recently Thorbjörn Fälldin from 1979 to 1982.

The party's major issues are the national economy, the environment and social integration. It is represented in all of the Riksdag's parliamentary committees, currently holding 31 seats and providing external support to the Löfven II Cabinet.

HistoryEdit

 
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, JR) party adopted its current name in 1957. At that time, it had been the closest ally of the centre-left Swedish Social Democratic Party for twenty-five years and its coalition partners between 1936 and 1945 as well as between 1951 and 1957. However, it has since 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 was the leader of the Centre Party and Prime Minister from 1976 until 1982, except a short interregnum in 1978–1979 by the Liberal People's Party leader Ola Ullsten. The Centre Party again joined a 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 has positioned itself clearly on the political right as a small business-friendly party, leaning towards neoliberal and right-libertarian policies and viewing the Social Democrats as its main opponent.[16][14][17]

In 2005, the Centre Party sold its ownership of the newspaper group Centertidningar AB for 1.8 billion SEK,[18] making it the richest political party in the world at the time.[19]

2006 general electionEdit

 
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.[20] In the 2006 Sedish general election, 7.88% of the vote went to the Centre Party, entitling the party to 29 of the 349 seats in the Riksdag.[21] 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".[22] 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,[23] 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.[24]

Political opinionsEdit

National economyEdit

The party has been described as one of Sweden's most market liberal parties in liberal, socialist and conservative media.[25] However, the party describes itself as "a party with a green, social and decentralised liberalism".[26] The party leadership has advocated neoliberalism and right-libertarianism. The party advocates lower taxes, greatly reduced employer contributions, a freer market and an increased RUT-deduction. The party is a big advocator for small-business, farmers and entrepreneurs.[27] They also want to invest in the infrastructure and transportation so that employees could work in bigger cities but still live in the rural areas and vice versa. On economic policy, they view the Social Democrats and the Sweden Democrats as their opponents.

ImmigrationEdit

The party is liberal on immigration, seeking to combine 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.[28]

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.[29]

European UnionEdit

The party is a decentralist pro-European party that believes that the European Union is an important union to secure peace, freedom and trade between the European countries. The party also advocates a smaller but sharper European Union that focuses on democracy and peace, free movement and trade, vigorous action against climate change and collaboration against organized crime while also believing that Sweden should stay outside the monetary union and keep the krona as the currency.[30]

The party is a member of the ALDE party and its European Parliament group Renew Europe.[31] MEP Fredrick Federley is a vice-president of the ALDE Party[32] and the group leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

PublicationsEdit

The Centre Party owed 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.

Election resultsEdit

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

VotersEdit

 
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 voters and votebank come from rural areas and quite a few are 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 Liberal People's Party have been moving to the Centre Party due to changes in both parties.[33]

Leaders of the Centre PartyEdit

The Leader of the Centre Party is the highest political and organisational officer as the party leader is also the president in the National Executive Board and represents the party on media, in public and with other parties.[34]

The party leader has often held an important cabinet protfolio when the party has been part of a coalition. The most famous leader of the Centre Party is Thorbjörn Fälldin, Prime Minister in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The Centre Party had the first female leader of a party in the Riksdag was Karin Söder, also Sweden's first female Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The party leaders were:

Current Members of ParliamentEdit

Current Members of Parliament include:[35]

Party leadershipEdit

The current party leadership include:[36]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Centerpartiet". Riksdag. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Sjunkande medlemsantal oroar inte Schyman" (in Swedish). 23 February 2018. Archived from the original on 26 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2018). "Sweden". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  4. ^ David Blandford; Berkeley Hill (2006). Policy Reform and Adjustment in the Agricultural Sectors of Developed Countries. CABI. p. 110. ISBN 9781845930332.
  5. ^ Slomp, Hans (2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 437. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "2018: Val till riksdagen - Valda" (in Swedish). Election Authority (Sweden). Archived from the original on 12 May 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  9. ^ "European Parliamentary election results". Election Authority (Sweden). 31 May 2019. Archived from the original on 4 July 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  10. ^ "2018: Val till landstingsfullmäktige - Valda" (in Swedish). Election Authority (Sweden). Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  11. ^ "2018: Val till kommunfullmäktige - Valda" (in Swedish). Election Authority (Sweden). Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  12. ^ a b 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.
  13. ^ a b 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.
  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. ^ "Guide: Centerpartiets historia och ideologi Archived 28 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine", DN, 2011-04-18
  17. ^ "'The Centre Party is a confused party': expert Archived 5 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine", The Local, 14 Jan 2013
  18. ^ "Näringsliv - affärsnyheter, börs och analys". SvD.se. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  19. ^ Privata Affärer - Centern blir världens rikaste politiska parti Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Väljarbarometern samtliga Archived 13 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Allmänna val 17 september 2006". Archived from the original on 9 August 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2006.
  22. ^ "Natural Disaster and National Election".[full citation needed][permanent dead link]
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "Natural Disasters and National Election".[full citation needed]
  25. ^ "Centerpartiet starkt framåt i ny väljarundersökning" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 8 December 2016. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.[full citation needed]
  26. ^ "Vår ideologi: Sverige och världen i framtiden" (in Swedish). Centre Party. Archived from the original on 20 February 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  27. ^ "Ekonomisk politik" (in Swedish). Centre Party. Archived from the original on 20 February 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  28. ^ "C vill ersätta bidrag med etableringslån" (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. 4 April 2016. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  29. ^ "Inför obligatorisk samhällsinformation för nyanlända" (in Swedish). Expressen. 14 January 2016. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  30. ^ "Europa" (in Swedish). Centre Party. Retrieved 31 July 2019.[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ "Member Parties". ALDE. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  32. ^ "Members of the ALDE Party Bureau". ALDE. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  33. ^ "Towards a two-party system? The Swedish parliamentary election of September 2006", Nicholas Aylott and Niklas Bolin, West European Politics, 2007 forthcoming
  34. ^ "Partistyrelsen". www.centerpartiet.se. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  35. ^ "Riksdagsledamöter". www.centerpartiet.se (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  36. ^ "Partistyrelsen". www.centerpartiet.se (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.

External linksEdit