Green Party (Sweden)

Green Party
Miljöpartiet de gröna
Abbreviation MP
Leader Gustav Fridolin
Isabella Lövin
Founded 20 September 1981 (1981-09-20)
Headquarters Pustegränd 1-3, Stockholm
Membership  (2014) 17,000
Ideology Green politics[1]
Political position Centre-left[5]
European affiliation European Green Party
The European Alliance of EU-critical Movements
International affiliation Global Greens
European Parliament group The Greens–European Free Alliance
Colours Green
25 / 349
European Parliament
4 / 20
County councils[6]
102 / 1,597
Municipal councils[7]
732 / 12,780
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The Green Party (Swedish: Miljöpartiet de gröna, or the "Green Environmental Party",[8][9] commonly referred to in Swedish as "Miljöpartiet" or MP) is a political party in Sweden based upon green politics.[10] The party was founded in 1981, emerging out of a sense of discontent with the existing parties' environmental policies, and sparked by the anti-nuclear power movement following the 1980 nuclear power referendum.[11] The party's breakthrough would come in the 1988 general election when they won seats in the Swedish Riksdag for the first time, capturing 5.5 percent of the vote, and becoming the first new party to enter parliament in seventy years.[12] Three years later, they dropped back below the 4 percent threshold, but returned to parliament again in 1994, and since have retained representation there. The party is represented nationally by two spokespeople, always one man and one woman. These roles are currently held by Gustav Fridolin and Isabella Lövin.

In the 2014 general election, the Greens received 6.9% of the vote and 25 seats, making the party the fourth largest in the Riksdag.[13]

Since 3 October 2014, the Green Party is the minor partner to the Swedish Social Democratic Party in the Löfven Cabinet minority coalition government, the first time in its history that the Greens have entered government.[14]


Fundamental principles

In their party platform, the Greens describe their ideology as being based on "a solidarity that can be expressed in three ways: solidarity with animals, nature, and the ecological system", "solidarity with coming generations", and "solidarity with all of the world's people". The platform then describes these solidarities being expressed in "several fundamental ideas", these being participatory democracy, ecological wisdom, social justice, children's rights, circular economy, global justice, nonviolence, equality and feminism, animal rights, self-reliance and self-administration, freedom, and long-sightedness.[15]

Climate change and the environment

The Green Party was the first political party in Sweden to raise the issue of climate change. Fighting climate change is a major policy issue for the party. For example, the party's main criticism of The Alliance's 2010 election manifesto was the "entirely astonishing" lack of effort in fighting climate change,[16] and in 2013, the party announced a budget proposal that was dominated by a 49 million kronor "climate package".[17] The party supports a general shift in taxation policy, towards high taxes on environmentally unfriendly or unsustainable products and activities, hoping to thus influence people's behavior towards the more sustainable.

Nuclear power

The anti-nuclear movement was a major factor in the party's creation.[11] The party's party platform reads that "we oppose the construction of new reactors in Sweden, or an increase in the output of existing reactors, and instead want to begin immediately phasing out nuclear power."[15] MP Per Bolund clarified in 2010 that the party "does not propose shutting down nuclear power reactors today, but rather phasing them out as new and renewable electricity is phased in."[18]

European integration

The party was initially opposed to membership in the European Union, and sought a new referendum on the issue. The party's EU-opposition captured them 17 percent of the votes in the 1995 European Parliament election, the first following Sweden's EU ascension.[19] The Greens included withdrawal from the EU in their party platform as recently as 2006.[20]

This policy was abolished in a September 2008 internal party referendum.[21] However, the party remains somewhat Eurosceptic. The section of the party platform on the subject opens by citing how decentralization and making decisions as locally as reasonably possible is a central part of green politics. It continues to state that the Greens "are warm adherents to international cooperation. We want to see Europe as a part of a world of democracies, where people move freely over borders, and where people and countries trade and cooperate with each other."[15]

Leadership and organization

The Greens, like many other green parties around the world, do not have a party leader in the traditional sense. The party is represented by two spokespeople, always one male and one female. The current spokespersons are Gustav Fridolin and Isabella Lovin.[22] The spokespeople are elected annually by the party congress, up to a maximum of nine, one-year terms.[23]

The party congress, consisting of elected representatives of all of the party's local groups, is the highest decision-making organ in the Green Party. The congress, in addition to the two spokespeople, also fills many other important posts in the party, including a party board (Swedish: partistyrelse), which is the party's highest decision-making authority between party congresses, and the day-to-day operation of the party's national organization. The congress also elects a party secretary (Swedish: partisekreterare), who is an internal, organizational leader for the party.[23] The current party secretary, initially elected by the 2011 party congress, is Anders Wallner.[24]


Islamic extremism

The Green Party was hit by a political scandal in April 2016, as images emerged of Green-Party Housing Minister Mehmet Kaplan attending a dinner party alongside leading members of the Turkish far-right extremist group Grey Wolves.[25][26][27][28] Following attention to comments made by Kaplan in 2009 comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, Kaplan resigned as minister, while still defended by the party leadership.[25][29] After his resignation, images emerged of Kaplan and other members of the Green Party displaying hand gestures associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.[25][29] Another controversy ensued as a rising Green-Party star, Yasri Khan, refused to shake hands with a female TV reporter.[27][29] Lars Nicander, director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish Defence University, compared the revelations with how the Soviet Union sought to infiltrate democratic Western parties during the Cold War, alleging that the Green Party similarly may have been "infiltrated by Islamists".[25][30]

In May 2016 Green Party co-spokesperson and Environmental Minister Åsa Romson confirmed she would resign from both positions as a result of her leadership during the party crisis, along with controversies of her own, such as referring to the September 11 attacks as the September 11 "olycka" (which can be translated as "accident", or alternatively as "misfortune" which Romson later claimed as her intention) in a television interview.[31][32][33][34]

Electoral politics

It is often believed that the party is situated on the left on a left-right scale due to its co-operation with the Social Democratic Party. While the right-left scale is primly based on which social group a party has its support base in, the Green Party bases its ideology on the idea of human race survival – which not is an idea belonging to a particular social group. The party participated in a political and electoral coalition called the Red-Greens with the Social Democrats and Left Party from October 2008 until the 2010 general election in September 2010, and has vowed to co-operate with the Social Democrats until 2020.[35] In several municipalities, however, the Greens cooperate with liberal and conservative parties, and the party does not define itself as left, nor right. Rather, they place themselves on one end of a scale between sustainability and growth. In an article published in 2009, Maria Wetterstrand, then party co-spokesperson, defined the party as a natural home also for green-minded social liberals and libertarian socialists, by referring to its liberal policy regarding immigration and its support of personal integrity, participation and entrepreneurship, among other issues.[36]

As of 2006, the party is in opposition in Sweden, and its prioritized issues are climate change, anti-discrimination and equal rights.

In the 2009 European Parliament election, the Greens received 11.02% and elected 2 MEPs.

In the 2010 general election, the Greens received 7.3% of the vote, winning 25 seats in the Riksdag.

In the 2014 European elections, the Greens came in second place nationally, ahead of the ruling Moderate Party and behind the Social Democrats, with 15.4% of the vote, returning 4 MEPs.

In the 2014 general election, the Greens received 6.9% of the vote, again winning 25 seats in the Riksdag.

Green Party results by group,
VALU 2010[37]
Group Votes
Avg. result
+/− (pp)
Students 19 +9
Members of SACO 16 +6
Aged 18–21 16 +6
Aged 22–30 16 +6
First-time voters 16 +6
Government employees 12 +2
Public sector employees 12 +2
Local government employees 12 +2
White-collar workers 11 +1
Employed persons 11 +1
Members of TCO 11 +1
Females 11 +1
Unemployed 10 0
Private sector employees 9 -1
Males 9 -1
Aged 31–64 9 -1
Blue-collar workers 9 -1
Business owners 8 -2
Raised outside Sweden 7 -3
Members of LO 7 -3
On sick leave 7 -3
Aged 65+ 4 -6
Farmers 4 -6
All groups (total) 10 0

Church politics

The party does not directly participate in elections to the Church of Sweden, but Miljöpartister i Svenska kyrkan (English: Greens in the Church of Sweden), an independent nominating group, participates in church elections at all levels.

Relationship with other parties

The Green Party has a good relationship with the Social Democrats, and to a lesser extent, with the Left Party. The party does not rule out participation in a government with the minor liberal and center-right parties in Sweden. The Green Party on first entering the Riksdag, allied with the Conservative Bloc in opposition to the Social Democrats. The Green Party has made clear that its preference among cooperative arrangements with the Conservative Bloc does not include support of a government led by the liberal-conservative Moderate Party. Historically, however, there have been political deals concluded with the parties forming the centre-right Alliance, as an example concerning education. Co-operation with the Moderate Party on the municipal level are relatively frequent.

Electoral results

General elections

Riksdag County councils Municipal councils Ref.
Votes Seats won +/– Votes Seats won +/– Votes Seats won +/–
# % # % # %
1982 91,787 1.7 (#7)
0 / 349
Steady 0 98,042 1.9%
0 / 1,717
Steady 0 91,842 1.6%
129 / 13,500
Increase 129 [38]
1985 83,645 1.5 (#7)
0 / 349
Steady 0 104,166 2.0%
0 / 1,733
Steady 0 142,498 2.5%
237 / 13,520
Increase 108 [39]
1988 296,935 5.5 (#6)
20 / 349
Increase 20 237,556 4,8%
73 / 1,743
Increase 73 302,797 5.6%
693 / 13,564
Increase 456 [40]
1991 185,051 3.4 (#8)
0 / 349
Decrease 20 156,594 3.1%
34 / 1,763
Decrease 39 199,207 3.6%
389 / 13,526
Decrease 304 [41]
1994 279,042 5.0 (#6)
18 / 349
Increase 18 236,666 4.6%
78 / 1,777
Increase 44 298,044 5.3%
616 / 13,550
Increase 230 [42]
1998 236,699 4.5 (#7)
16 / 349
Decrease 2 226,398 4.4%
70 / 1,646
Decrease 8 252,675 4.8%
559 / 13,388
Decrease 57 [43][44][45]
2002 246,392 4.7 (#7)
17 / 349
Increase 1 204169 3.9%
55 / 1,656
Decrease 15 227,189 4.2%
443 / 13,274
Decrease 116 [46]
2006 291,121 5.2 (#7)
19 / 349
Increase 2 [47]
2010 437,435 7.3 (#3)
25 / 349
Increase 6 398,782 6.9%
103 / 1,662
418,961 7.1%
686 / 12,978
2014 408,365 6.8 (#4)
25 / 349
Steady 0

European Parliament

Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
1995 462,092 17.2%
4 / 22
1999 239,946 9.5%
2 / 22
Decrease 2
2004 149,603 6.0%
1 / 19
Decrease 1
2009 349,114 11.0%
2 / 18
2 / 20
Increase 1
Steady 0
2014 572,591 15.4%
4 / 20
Increase 2

See also


  1. Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  2. "Acta Politica - Table 2 for article: Softening but Persistent: Euroscepticism in the Nordic EU Countries". Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  5. Josep M. Colomer (25 July 2008). Political Institutions in Europe. Routledge. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-134-07354-2.
  6. "2014: Val till landstingsfullmäktige - Valda", Valmyndigheten, 2014-09-28
  7. "2014: Val till kommunfullmäktige - Valda", Valmyndigheten, 2014-09-26
  8. Urban Ahlin; Sven-Erik Alhem; Björn Beckman; et. al. "Spanish Citizen Security bill violates human rights". Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  9. Bale, Tim (2013). European Politics: A Comparative Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan. p. xv. ISBN 1137105860.
  10. "Swedish Green Party". Miljöpartiet de gröna. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  11. 1 2 Ljunggren, Stig-Björn (2010). "Miljöpartiet De Gröna. Från miljömissnöjesparti till grön regeringspartner". Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift. 112 (2). Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  12. "Allmänna valen, 1988, Del 1 Riksdagsvalet" (PDF). Statistics Sweden.
  13. "Röster - Val 2014". Valmyndigheten.
  14. Sveriges Radio. "Sweden gets a new government". Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  15. 1 2 3 "Party Platform 2013" (PDF). Miljöpartiet de gröna.
  16. Hernadi, Alexandra (26 August 2010). "Wetterstrand: "Fullständigt häpnadsväckande"". Svenska dagbladet.
  17. "MP föreslår klimatpaket". Svenska dagbladet. 30 September 2013.
  18. "Miljöpartiet chattade om kärnkraften". Dagens Nyheter. 26 May 2010.
  19. Burchell, Jon (1996). "No to the European union (EU): Miljöpartiet's success in the 1995 European parliament elections in Sweden". Environmental Politics. 5 (2). doi:10.1080/09644019608414268. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  20. "Miljöpartiet la fram valmanifest". Dagens Nyheter. 20 April 2006.
  21. "Mp skippar krav på EU-utträde". Sveriges radio.
  22. Crofts, Maria; Nilsson, Owe (21 May 2011). "Fridolin och Romson nya språkrör". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  23. 1 2 "Stadgar (English: Constitution)". Miljöpartiet de gröna.
  24. "Wallner MP:s nye partisekreterare". Svenska dagbladet.
  25. 1 2 3 4 "Sweden's Green Party hit by religious row". Al Jazeera. 27 April 2016.
  26. "Housing minister, Turkish extremists dined together". Radio Sweden. 14 April 2016.
  27. 1 2 "Swedish cabinet member compared Israel with Nazi-Germany". Svenska Dagbladet. 17 April 2016.
  28. "Sweden's housing minister Mehmet Kaplan quits after his Nazi comparison to Israel". International Business Times. 18 April 2016.
  29. 1 2 3 "Green Party leaders: We have no plans to resign". The Local. 25 April 2016.
  30. "'Green Party may have been infiltrated by Islamists'". The Local. 23 April 2016.
  31. "Swedish deputy premier resigns amid Green Party crisis". Yahoo News/AP. 9 May 2016.
  32. "Green leader steps down as government minister". The Local. 9 May 2016.
  33. "Lövin recommended to replace Romson". Radio Sweden. 9 May 2016.
  34. "Swedish Greens vote in their new co-leaders". The Local. 13 May 2016.
  35. "Partiledarna litar inte på Lars Ohly". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). 3 October 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  36. Wetterstrand, Maria (17 November 2009). "Wetterstrand: De gröna ett naturligt hem för socialliberaler". Newsmill (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  37. Holmberg, Sören; Näsman, Per; Wänström, Kent (2010). Riksdagsvalet 2010 Valu (PDF) (Report). Sveriges Television. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  38. "Allmänna valen 1982" (PDF). Statistics Sweden.
  39. "Allmänna valen 1985" (PDF). Statistics Sweden.
  40. "Allmänna val 1988" (PDF). Statistics Sweden.
  41. "Allmänna val 1991" (PDF). Statistics Sweden.
  42. "Allmänna val 1994, del 2" (PDF). Statistics Sweden.
  43. "Allmänna valen 1998, del 3 Kommunfullmäktige" (PDF). Statistics Sweden.
  44. "Allmänna valen, Del 2 Landstingsfullmuaktige" (PDF). Statistics Sweden.
  45. "Procent- och mandatfördelning riksdagsvalet 1998". Valmyndigheten (Swedish Election Authority).
  46. "Val 2002: Slutresultat". Valmyndigheten.
  47. "Val 2006, Slutresultat". Statistics Sweden.
  48. "Val 2010, Slutresultat". Statistics Sweden.

External links

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