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General Election, Election Survey 2010:

Increased confidence and the economy behind election victory for Alliance parties

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2011-12-21 9.30

The Alliance parties maintained government power thanks to the high ratings from the voters within the areas that were in focus before the election of 2010. These main areas were taxes, employment and the economy. The share that switched parties decreased and confidence for politicians increased sharply.

In cooperation with the Department of Political Science at Gothenburg University, Statistics Sweden now presents the results from the 2010 Election Survey. The results are based on approximately 2 700 interviews, conducted in connection with the 2010 election. The report "The eight party election 2010" has been written by Henrik Oskarsson and Sören Holmberg.

Reduced voter mobility

The percentage of those who switched parties since the last election fell from 37 percent in 2006 to 33 percent in 2010. The largest voter flow went from the Social Democrats to the Moderates, followed by those who chose not to vote to the Moderates.

Government competence, like government handling of crises and uncertainty towards the Red-Green cooperation were the usual reasons for switching parties. The popularity of the party leaders also played a role. The economy, employment, taxes and immigration were the issues that led most voters to switch parties. Tactical voting was at a record level in 2010. According to the survey, the Christian Democrats and Sweden Democrats would have been dangerously close or just below the 4 percent requirement threshold if they did not receive supporting votes on election day.

Confidence continues to increase for politicians

Last year's election was considered to be more important than previous Riksdag elections. The voters felt there were clear differences between the parties and the election campaign was thought to be more interesting, factual and informative than previous elections.

Confidence for politics increased drastically in Sweden between 2006 and 2010. Actually, the confidence of Swedish voters for politics has been on the upswing for about ten years. In connection with the 2010 election, it appears that the growing confidence favoured the Alliance.

Degree of confidence in Swedish politicians 1988–2010. Percent
Very confident
3 2 1 1 2 3 5
Rather confident
41 36 35 30 39 46 56
Not very confident
44 50 50 51 46 39 31
Hardly confident at all
11 11 13 17 12 10 6
Do not know/
do not want to answer
1 1 1 1 2 2 2
100 100 100 100 100 100 100

Answer to the question: "In general, how much confidence do you have for Swedish politicians? Are you very confident, rather confident, not very confident, hardly confident at all?"

Clear socioeconomic differences in voting

In connection with the election in 2010 the Moderates and the Alliance parties continued to strengthen their position among the numerically large middle income groups and the growing group of highly educated white collar workers in the large cities. However, the total support for the Alliance parties was much weaker in groups such as foreign born persons, the unemployed, blue collar union members, persons with a low level of education, blue collar workers and voters with the lowest incomes as well as young people aged 18–30.

Left against right

The share of persons who ideologically consider themselves standing towards the right at the election last year was 47 percent. Never before has this group been so large in Sweden. 34 percent place themselves on the left. Elections in Sweden are still decided along the left-right scale, and the difference between the red/green voters and the alliance voters has become greater, especially on issues that deal with the traditional left-right issues. The views on privatisation and welfare clearly influence how Swedish people vote.


In cooperation with the Department of Political Science at Gothenburg University, Statistics Sweden now presents the results from the 2010 Election Study in the report The eight party election in 2010.

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

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Statistics Sweden, Democracy Statistics

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