Swedish general election, 1985

Swedish general election, 1985
15 September 1985

All 349 seats to the Riksdag
175 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Olof Palme Ulf Adelsohn Bengt Westerberg
Party Social Democratic Moderate People's
Last election 166 86 21
Seats won 159 76 51
Seat change Decrease7 Decrease10 Increase30
Popular vote 2,487,551 1,187,335 792,268
Percentage 44.7% 21.3% 14.2%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Thorbjörn Fälldin Lars Werner Alf Svensson
Party Centre Left-Communist Christian Democrats
Last election 56 20 0
Seats won 43 19 1
Seat change Decrease13 Decrease1 Increase1
Popular vote 490,570 298 419 200,688
Percentage 8.8% 5.4% 3.6%

PM before election

Olof Palme
Social Democratic

Elected PM

Olof Palme
Social Democratic

General elections were held in Sweden on 15 September 1985.[1] The Swedish Social Democratic Party remained the largest party in the Riksdag, winning 159 of the 349 seats.[2]


At a campaign meeting in Sundsvall on 22 August, Minister of Social Welfare Sten Andersson promised to increase the state pensions as a compensation for the price increases following the devaluation of the krona in 1982. The social democratic government also stressed that it had managed to decrease the budget deficit from 90 billion to 60 billion kronas. The Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterna) also promised not to increase taxes or lower the quality of the welfare system.

The Centre Party had a technical cooperation with the Christian Democrats. The Christian Democrats always received fewer votes than the 4% threshold for gaining seats to the Riksdag. The cooperation was criticized within the Centre Party. The aim was for both parties to gain votes but in the end, the Centre Party decreased its share of the votes compared to the previous election. The Christian Democrats only gained one seat in parliament for its leader, Alf Svensson.

The political debate was dominated by the Moderate Party and the Social Democrats. In January 1985, the Moderate Party had proposed in parliament a detailed plan with tax cuts and cuts in spending. The Social Democrats' leader Olof Palme managed to turn this against the Moderate Party by repeating the negative effects this would have on junior soccer teams. In an opinion poll by SIFO in June 1985 the Moderate Party was supported by 30 percent but their support decreased during the campaign.

The Liberal People's Party had chosen Bengt Westerberg as its party leader in October 1983 but he had had trouble getting his message through, not least because of the party's small size in parliament and only receiving a 5.9 percent support in the 1982 election. But in August Westerberg got a public breakthrough as a calm and honest politician compared to the constantly arguing Adelsohn and Palme. In the end, the Liberal People's Party was the big winner of the 1985 election by increasing its support to 14.2 percent.


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Swedish Social Democratic Party2,487,55144.7159–7
Moderate Party1,187,33521.376–10
People's Party792,26814.251+30
Centre Party[a]490,9998.843–13
Left Party Communists298,4195.419–1
Christian Democratic Unity[a]131,5482.400
Green Party83,6451.500
Other parties21,5460.400
Invalid/blank votes48,220
Registered voters/turnout6,249,44589.9
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

a The Centre Party and Christian Democratic Unity (CDU) ran a joint list known as Centre.[3] One CDU candidate was elected on the Centre list, the first time the party had had parliamentary representation.[2]

By municipality


  1. Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1858 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. 1 2 Nohlen & Stöver, p1873
  3. Nohlen & Stöver, p1869
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 3/6/2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.