Swedish general election, 1979

Swedish general election, 1979
16 September 1979

All 349 seats to the Riksdag
175 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Olof Palme Gösta Bohman Thorbjörn Fälldin
Party Social Democratic Moderate Centre
Last election 152 55 86
Seats won 154 73 64
Seat change Increase2 Increase18 Decrease22
Popular vote 2,356,234 1,108,406 984,589
Percentage 43.2% 20.3% 18.1%

  Fourth party Fifth party
Leader Ola Ullsten Lars Werner
Party People's Left-Communist
Last election 39 17
Seats won 38 20
Seat change Decrease1 Increase3
Popular vote 577,063 305,420
Percentage 10.6% 5.6%

PM before election

Ola Ullsten
Liberal People's

Elected PM

Thorbjörn Fälldin

General elections were held in Sweden on 16 September 1979.[1] Although the Swedish Social Democratic Party remained the largest party, winning 154 of the 349 seats in the Riksdag,[2] the liberal interim government of Ola Ullsten was succeeded by another centre-right coalition government composed of the People's Party, the Moderate Party and the Centre Party, led by Centre Party leader Thorbjörn Fälldin. The three parties won 175 seats to the 174 held by the Social Democrats and Communists. Until 2010, this remained the only successful re-election of any non-socialist government in Sweden since the 1920s. The Moderates dramatically increased their seats, becoming the largest party of the non-socialist bloc, a position the party retains until today.

Though a celebrated and largely unexpected victory, adherents of the government would not celebrate for too long, as the coalition split in 1981, when the dominant Moderates withdrew support, protesting against Fälldins tax policies, which they viewed as "too leftist". Though not being the leader of the coalition party holding the most seats, Fälldin was the designate prime minister since his earlier resignation in 1978, upon disagreement over the question of nuclear power.


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Swedish Social Democratic Party2,356,23443.2154+2
Moderate Party1,108,40620.373+18
Centre Party984,58918.164–22
People's Party577,06310.638–1
Left Party Communists305,4205.620+3
Christian Democratic Unity75,9931.400
Communist Party of Sweden10,8620.200
Workers Party Communists10,7250.20New
Other parties19,3460.400
Invalid/blank votes31,488
Registered voters/turnout6,040,46190.7
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

By municipalities


  1. Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1858 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. Nohlen & Stöver, p1873
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