Swedish political parties – Centerpartiet

The third party in this series, of eight in total, is Centerpartiet – also a part of the governing Alliance.

  • Partiledare: Maud Olofsson

Maud Olofsson, party leader

  • Partisekreterare: Michael Arthursson

Michael Arthursson, party secretary

  • Current political orientation: social liberal, with a focus on agricultural, environmental and rural questions.

The party was founded in 1913, and was then called Bondeförbundet (Farmers’ League). Previously, the party was associated with Socialdemokraterna, but has more recently moved slightly towards the right, become more liberal and formed an alliance with the other parties to the right of the centre.  Historically, only Socialdemokraterna has been in governing position for a longer period than Centerpartiet, and four prime ministers have been Centerpartister.

Longterm key issues have been opposition to nuclear power and proposals to decentralise governmental authority. However, the position on nuclear power has changed drastically. In the 1970’s, Centerpartiet were completely against nuclear power, and it was a core feature of their political identity. Since 2000, the party has changed their positioning. They still argue that nuclear power is dangerous, but do no longer have nuclear shutdown on their political agenda. They believe Sweden should still use nuclear power, until other kinds of energy can be phased in and nuclear power phased out.

As a part of their movement towards centre-right politics, they have also recently focused more on employment and creating new jobs as a way to stimulate the economy.

Traditionally, many of the voters come from rural areas and quite a few are farmers or small businessmen. In recent years however, since the takeover of Maud Olofsson the party has been attracting liberal voters from urban areas. It is believed that voters from Folkpartiet have been moving to Centerpartiet due to changes in both parties.

According to a survey in the run-up to the previous election in 2010, voters of Centerpartiet ranked the following issues as the most important:

  1. Swedish economy
  2. Employment
  3. Education
  4. Conditions for business enterprise
  5. Household economy

NEWS! The 20th of June 2011, Maud Olofsson announced that she will step down prior to the party congress this autumn. She states that it’s the right time for her to hand over the leadership to a younger generation. A female party leader seems likely, according to the newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Coming soon: Kristdemokraterna

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