Social Democrats (113)
Green Party (25)
Confidence and supply (21)
Left Party (21)
Opposition (Alliance) (140)
Moderate Party (83)
Centre Party (22)
Christian Democrats (16)
Other Opposition (51)
Sweden Democrats (43)
Party-list proportional representation
See Elections in Sweden
14 September 2014
9 September 2018
Stockholm, 100 12
Kingdom of Sweden
Riksdag (Swedish: riksdagen or Sveriges riksdag) is the national
legislature and the supreme decision-making body of Sweden. Since
Riksdag has been a unicameral legislature with 349 members
(Swedish: riksdagsledamöter), elected proportionally and serving,
from 1994 onwards, on fixed four-year terms.
The constitutional functions of the
Riksdag are enumerated in the
Instrument of Government (Swedish: Regeringsformen), and its internal
workings are specified in greater detail in the
Riksdag Act (Swedish:
The seat of the
Riksdag is at
Parliament House (Swedish:
Riksdagshuset), on the island of
Helgeandsholmen in the central parts
of Stockholm. The
Riksdag has its institutional roots in the feudal
Riksdag of the Estates, by tradition thought to have first assembled
Arboga in 1435, and in 1866 following reforms of the 1809
Instrument of Government that body was transformed into a bicameral
legislature with an upper chamber (Swedish: Första Kammaren) and a
lower chamber (Swedish: Andra Kammaren).
The most recent general election was held on 14 September 2014.
Parliament House on
Riddarholmen was the seat of the Riksdag
from 1833 to 1905.
Sergels torg served as a temporary seat for the
Riksdag, from 1971 to 1983, while the
Riksdag building on
Helgeandsholmen underwent renovation.
3 Powers and structure
8.1 Constituencies and national apportionment of seats
8.1.1 2014 election
9 See also
11 External links
The Swedish word riksdag, in definite form riksdagen, is a general
term for "parliament" or "assembly", but it is typically only used for
Sweden's legislature and certain related institutions. In
addition to Sweden's parliament, it is also used for the
Finland and the Estonian Riigikogu, as well as the historical German
Reichstag and the Danish Rigsdagen. In Swedish use, riksdagen is
Riksdag derives from the genitive of rike,
referring to royal power, and dag, meaning diet or conference; the
German word Reichstag and the Danish Rigsdag are cognate. The
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary traces English use of the term "Riksdag" in
reference to the Swedish assembly back to 1855.
Main article: History of the Riksdag
Riksdag of the Estates
The roots of the modern
Riksdag can be found in a 1435 meeting of the
Swedish nobility in the city of Arboga. This informal organization was
modified in 1527 by the first modern Swedish king
Gustav I Vasa
Gustav I Vasa to
include representatives from all the four social estates: the
nobility, the clergy, the burghers (property-owning commoners in the
towns such as merchants etc.), and the yeomanry (freehold farmers).
This form of Ständestaat representation lasted until 1865, when
representation by estate was abolished and the modern bicameral
parliament established. Effectively, however, it did not become a
parliament in the modern sense until parliamentary principles were
established in the political system in Sweden, in 1917.
On 22 June 1866, the
Riksdag decided to reconstitute itself as a
bicameral legislature, consisting of Första kammaren or the First
Chamber, with 155 members and Andra kammaren or the Second Chamber
with 233 members. The First Chamber was indirectly elected by county
and city councillors, while the Second Chamber was directly elected by
universal suffrage. This reform was a result of great malcontent with
the old Estates, which, following the changes brought by the
beginnings of the industrial revolution, was no longer able to provide
representation for large segments of the population.
By an amendment to the 1809 Instrument of Government, the general
election of 1970 was the first to a unicameral assembly with 350
seats. The following general election to the unicameral
1973 only gave the Government the support of 175 members, while the
opposition could mobilize an equal force of 175 members. In a number
of cases a tied vote ensued, and the final decision had to be
determined by lot. To avoid any reccurrence of this unstable
situation, the number of seats in the
Riksdag was reduced to 349, from
Powers and structure
Constitution of Sweden
Riksdag performs the normal functions of a legislature in a
parliamentary democracy. It enacts laws, amends the constitution and
appoints a government. In most parliamentary democracies, the head of
state commissions a politician to form a government. Under the new
Instrument of Government (one of the four fundamental laws of the
Constitution) enacted in 1974, that task was removed from the Monarch
Sweden and given to the Speaker of the Riksdag. To make changes to
Constitution under the new Instrument of Government, amendments
must be approved twice, in two successive electoral periods with a
regular general election held in between.
There are 15 parliamentary committees in the Riksdag.
As of February 2013, 44.7 percent of the members of the
women. This is the world's fourth highest proportion of females in a
national legislature—behind only the Parliaments of Rwanda, Andorra,
and Cuba – hence the second-highest in the developed world and among
parliamentary democracies. Following the 2014 elections, in which
the share of Liberal female members of parliament (MPs) plunged (from
42% to 26%, mainly due to a reduction to a single seat in most
constituencies) and the
Sweden Democrats more than doubled their seats
(though increasing the number of female MPs from three to eight), the
figure dropped to 43,5%. Only the Left Party has a majority of female
MPs; 12 of 21 as of 2014.
Members of the
Riksdag are full-time legislators with a salary of 56
000 SEK (around $8 800) per month.
According to a survey investigation by the sociologist Jenny Hansson,
Members of the
Riksdag have an average work week of 66 hours,
including side responsibilities. Hansson's investigation further
reports that the average member sleeps 6.5 hours per night.
The Swedish parliament voting in February 2009.
The former second chamber, nowadays used for committee meetings.
Riksdag building exterior, from the west, at night.
The presidium consists of a speaker and three deputy speakers. They
are elected for a 4-year term.
Main article: Government of Sweden
Kingdom of Sweden
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Constitution (Basic Laws)
Instrument of Government
Act of Succession
Freedom of the Press Act
Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression
Carl XVI Gustaf
Marshal of the Realm
Prime Minister (list)
Deputy Prime Minister
1st — Tobias Billström
2nd — Björn Söder
3rd — Esabelle Dingizian
Committee on the Constitution
Courts of appeal
Supreme Administrative Court
Administrative courts of appeal
Council on Legislation
County Administrative Boards
Swedish Police Authority
After holding talks with leaders of the various party groups in the
Riksdag, the speaker of the
Riksdag nominates a Prime Minister
Statsminister literally minister of state). The nomination
is then put to a vote. The nomination is rejected (meaning the Speaker
must find a new nominee) only if an absolute majority of the members
(175 members) vote "no"; otherwise, it is confirmed. This means the
Riksdag can consent to a
Prime Minister without casting any "yes"
After being elected the
Prime Minister appoints the cabinet ministers
and announces them to the Riksdag. The new Government takes office at
a special council held at the Royal Palace before the Monarch, at
Speaker of the Riksdag
Speaker of the Riksdag formally announces to the Monarch
Riksdag has elected a new
Prime Minister and that the Prime
Minister has chosen his cabinet ministers.
Riksdag can cast a vote of no confidence against any single
cabinet minister (Swedish: Statsråd), thus forcing a resignation. To
succeed a vote of no confidence must be supported by an absolute
majority (175 members) or it has failed.
If a vote of no confidence is cast against the
Prime Minister this
means the entire government is rejected. A losing government has one
week to call for a general election or else the procedure of
nominating a new
Prime Minister starts anew.
Main article: Politics of Sweden
Political parties are strong in Sweden, with members of the Riksdag
usually supporting their parties in parliamentary votes. In most
cases, governments can command the support of the majority in the
Riksdag, allowing the government to control the parliamentary agenda.
No single party has won a majority in the
Riksdag since 1968.
Political parties with similar agendas consequently cooperate on
several issues, forming coalition governments or other formalized
alliances. Two major blocs exist in parliament, the socialist/green
Red-Greens and the conservative/liberal Alliance for Sweden. The
latter—consisting of the Moderate Party, Liberal, Centre Party, and
Sweden from 2006 through most of 2014
(after 2010 through a minority government). The Red-Greens combination
disbanded on 26 October 2010 but continued to be considered the main
opposition until the 2014 election. After that election the Social
Democrats and the Green Party formed a government, with support from
the Left Party, which takes part in budget negotiations with the
Sweden Democrats party is not a member of either bloc. During the
Alliance government the
Sweden Democrats sided with the Alliance in
most votes.[unreliable source?] After the Social Democrats took
power in 2014 the
Sweden Democrats have sided with the center-left
government in most votes.
Current party representation in the Riksdag
Social Democratic Party
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven
Isabella Lövin and Gustav Fridolin
Christian Democratic Party
Ebba Busch Thor
Members of governing coalition in bold
1/ Party name and leaders current as of 24 December 2015
2/ Seat numbers current as of 23 January 2018
3/ Percentage of the votes received in the 2014 general election
4/ All independent politicians were elected as members of a party, but
have since left. As of January 2018, three of them sit as members of
the technical group SVPOL.
Main article: Elections in Sweden
The offices of the parliament are housed in several buildings,
including the former Royal mint on
All 349 members of the
Riksdag are elected in the general elections
held every four years. All Swedish citizens who turn 18 years old no
later than on the day of the election are eligible to vote in and
stand for elections. A minimum of 4% of the national vote is required
for a party to enter the Riksdag, alternatively 12% or more within a
constituency. Substitutes for each deputy are elected at the same time
as each election, so by-elections are rare. In the event of a snap
election, the newly elected members merely serve the remainder of the
Constituencies and national apportionment of seats
Main article: National apportionment of MP seats in the Swedish
The electoral system in
Sweden is proportional. Of the 349 seats in
the unicameral Riksdag, 310 are fixed constituency seats allocated to
29 multi-member constituencies in relation to the number of people
entitled to vote in each constituency. The remaining 39 adjustment
seats are used to correct the deviations from proportional national
distribution that may arise when allocating the fixed constituency
seats. There is a constraint in the system that means that only a
party that has received at least four per cent of the votes in the
whole country participates in the distribution of seats. However, a
party that has received at least twelve per cent of the votes in a
constituency participates in the distribution of the fixed
constituency seats in that constituency.
Main article: Swedish general election, 2014
On September 14, 2014 an election was held. No party won an absolute
majority but the center-left coalition led by the Social Democrats
became the largest political grouping, with the
Moderate Party and its
center-right alliance falling to second place. The third largest party
Sweden Democrats, widely described as "anti-immigration". The
Social Democrats have said that they will seek to form a government,
but will not work with the
Sweden Democrats. Meanwhile, Reinfeldt
announced he was stepping down as leader of the Moderate Party.
Since the election, seven members left their parties but kept their
seats in the Riksdag. Three of them have formed the technical group
SVPOL, and three have joined the newly started party Alternative for
Swedish Social Democratic Party
Pirate Party of Sweden
Party of the Swedes
Swedish Senior Citizen Interest Party
Christian Values Party
Classical Liberal Party
Socialist Justice Party
European Workers Party
Parliament House, Stockholm
Referendums in Sweden
^ Instrument of Government, as of 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-16.
Archived October 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
Riksdag Act, as of 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-16. Archived
February 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
^ Nöjd, Ruben; Tornberg, Astrid; Angström, Margareta (1978).
Riksdag (riksdagen)". Mckay's Modern English-Swedish and
Swedish-English Dictionary. David Mckay. p. 147.
^ Gullberg, Ingvar (1977). "Riksdag". Svensk-Engelsk Fackordbok. PA
Norstedt & Söners Förlag. p. 741.
^ a b "Riksdag". Nationalencyklopedin. 2014. Retrieved May 14,
^ Holmes, Philip; Hinchliffe, Ian (2013). Swedish: A Comprehensive
Grammar. Routledge. p. 670. ISBN 1134119984. Retrieved April
^ a b "Riksdag, n.". Oxford English Dictionary. June 2012. Retrieved
May 14, 2014.
^ The Swedish Constitution, Riksdagen Archived January 10, 2011, at
the Wayback Machine.
^ "The 15 parliamentary committees". Sveriges
Riksdag / The Swedish
Parliament. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 28, 2014.
Retrieved May 29, 2012.
^ Sveriges riksdag, pressmedelande Archived October 10, 2010, at the
^ "Hansson, Jenny (2008). De Folkvaldas Livsvillkor. Umea: Umea
University" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on
^ Regeringskansliet, Regeringen och (2017-08-26). ""Vi accepterar inte
att Sveriges framtid, jobben och klimatet sätts på spel"".
Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
^ "Alliansens femte parti". Aftonbladet. 2011-04-20.
^ firstname.lastname@example.org, Hannes Delling . "SD röstar mer som S än
M". SvD.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-08-10.
^ Cite error: The named reference SVTBudget was invoked but never
defined (see the help page).
^ See e.g.: SOU 2008:125 En reformerad grundlag (Constitutional
Reform), Prime Ministers Office.
Larsson, Torbjörn; Bäck, Henry (2008). Governing and Governance in
Studentlitteratur AB. ISBN 978-91-44-03682-3.
Petersson, Olof (2010). Den offentliga makten (in Swedish). Stockholm:
SNS Förlag. ISBN 978-91-86203-66-5.
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