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Ups and Downs of Swedish Social Democratic Party and the Change of Its Class Base

  • Journal of the Scandinavian Society of Korea
  • Abbr : JSSK
  • 2015, (16), pp.57-96
  • Publisher : The Scandinavian Society of Korea
  • Research Area : Social Science > Area Studies > North Europe(Scandinavian)

Cho, Donmoon 1

1가톨릭대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Although the SAP(Swedish Social Democratic Party) won the 2014 general election after its defeat in 2002 and 2006, its polling rate rose only by 0.4%. It has been pointed out that SAP’s working class base kept being eroded along with the falling unionization rate and the worsening SAP-LO relationship. It is the aim of this study to conduct an in-depth analysis so as to examine and explain the change in the rate of votes earned by the SAP and the Red-Green alliance. This study was able to verify at least four points by analyzing the exit poll data of recent general elections. First, the support rate of the SAP and the Red-Green alliance is the highest in the working class among all the class locations, which confirms that the class voting trend persists and the working class still forms the solid class base for the SAP, while the trend keeps weakening. Second, the weakening class voting trend exacerbates the issue voting phenomenon which is conducted with the two pillars of social issues and economic issues, while the Swedes prioritize social issues rather than economic issues. As the two major political parties such as the SAP and the Conservative party converge on major policy areas including social issues among others, economic issues tend to gain more and more importance in general elections. Third, the issue owner party changed from the SAP to the Conservative party in economic issues, while the SAP still holds the issue ownership in social issues. The change of issue owner party in economic issues owes to the fact that the Swedes by and large evaluate positively the role of the right-wing government dealing with the shock of worldwide financial crisis. It confirms that economic issues can change the issue owner party more frequently than other issues. Fourth, the two most important issues of the 2014 general election were unemployment and education. Given that the ever high rate of unemployment and the recent release of poor PISA scores made an absolutely favorable condition for the SAP in the 2014 general election, the meager rise of SAP’s polling rate does not allow any optimism on the part of the SAP in future general elections.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.