Sweden: Social Democratic Dominance in One Dimension
Five parties and two ‘blocs’ have dominated Swedish politics in the post-war era. The two blocs (socialist and bourgeois) are defined by party positions on a popularly perceived left-right dimension, and in this respect the Swedish party system follows a general Scandinavian pattern. Berglund et al. (1981) have argued that this Scandinavian model fits the Swedish case so well that the model ‘might have been generated on Swedish data alone’. ‘The Conservative, Liberal, and Agrarian or Centre parties form one cluster, the Labour (Social Democratic) and Communist parties another. This kind of configuration suggests the predominance of a socialist-non-socialist cleavage throughout Scandinavia. Party Programmes lend support to this notion as does electoral behaviour. Class is still the major determinant of voting behaviour’ (Berglund, Pesonen, and Gislason, 1982, p. 80).
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