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Sweden Democrats

Sweden Democrats
Abbreviation SD
Party chairman Jimmie Åkesson
Party secretary Richard Jomshof
Parliamentary group leader Mattias Karlsson
Founded February 6, 1988 (1988-02-06)
Headquarters Stockholm
Newspaper SD-Kuriren
Youth wing Sweden Democratic Youth
Membership 20,000 (October 2015)
Ideology Swedish nationalism[1]
Social conservatism[1][2]
Right-wing populism[3]
Welfare chauvinism[5][6]
Political position Right-wing[7][8][9][10] to Far-right[11][12][13][14][15][16][17]
European affiliation Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe
European Parliament group Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy[18]
Colours      Yellow
49 / 349
European Parliament
2 / 20
County Councils[20]
161 / 1,597
Municipal Councils[21]
1,324 / 12,780
Politics of Sweden
Political parties

The Sweden Democrats or Swedish Democrats (Swedish: Sverigedemokraterna, SD) is a political party in Sweden that was founded in 1988.[22] The party describes itself as social conservative with a nationalist foundation,[1][2] but has been characterised by others as far-right,[23] right-wing populist,[3][9] national-conservative,[24] and anti-immigration.[25] Since 2005 its party chairman has been Jimmie Åkesson, while Richard Jomshof is party secretary (since 2015) and Mattias Karlsson (since 2014) is the parliamentary group leader. An Anemone hepatica flower (Swedish: blåsippa) has been the official SD logo since 2006.[26]

SD is divided into eighteen district party associations throughout Sweden, as well as in various local or municipal associations.[27] Young members are organised in the Sweden Democratic Youth (SDU), founded in 1998. The party also distributes a magazine, SD-Kuriren, to its members.[28]

The party first became high profiled in the media after the

  • (Swedish) Sweden Democrats
  • (Swedish) Jimmie Åkesson's website
  • (Swedish) SD-Kuriren
  • (Swedish) Sweden Democratic Youth

External links

  1. ^ a b c "Partiledningen vann strid om principprogrammet" (in Svenska). Svenska Dagbladet. 2011-11-26. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  2. ^ a b "Principprogram" (in Svenska). SE: Sverigedemokraterna. 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Rydgren (2006), p. 10
  4. ^ "Euroscepticism plays a very small role in the largest right wing populist party, Swedish Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna)."
  5. ^ Rydgren, Jens (2005). Från skattemissnöje till etnisk nationalism: Högerpopulism och parlamentarisk högerextremism i Sverige. Studentlitteratur, Lund isbn = 91-44-04307-4
  6. ^  
  7. ^ Business week .
  8. ^ "Muslims" ( .
  9. ^ a b Berezin, Mabel (2013), "The Normalization of the Right in Post-Security Europe", Politics in the Age of Austerity (Polity Press): 255 
  10. ^ Ahlander, Johan (12 May 2014). "Anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats struggle to rouse voters for EU polls". Reuters. 
  11. ^ a b "'"EU elections 2014: 'I can hear the boots of the 1930s marching through Europe, The Telegraph .
  12. ^ Rydgren (2006), p. 9
  13. ^ Downs, William M. (2012), Political Extremism in Democracies: Combating Intolerance, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 33, 149 
  14. ^ Lindvall, Johannes (2013), "Economic crises as political opportunities", Before and Beyond the Global Economic Crisis: Economics, Politics and Settlement (Edward Elgar): 146 
  15. ^ Demker, Marie (2012), "Scandinavian right-wing parties: Diversity more than convergence?", Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe: From Local to Transnational (Routledge): 240 
  16. ^ Jaschke, Hans-Gerd (2013). Right-wing extremism and populism in contemporary Germany and Western Europe. Right-Wing Radicalism Today: Perspectives from Europe and the US (Routledge). p. 32. 
  17. ^ Aylott, Nicholas; Ikstens, Jānis; Lilliefeldt, Emelie (2014). Ever More Inclusive? Candidate Selection in North European Democracies. Models of Democracy in Nordic and Baltic Europe (Ashgate). p. 129. 
  18. ^ New EFD Group formed in the European Parliament, UK IP, 2014-06-18, retrieved 2014-06-18 
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  20. ^ "2014: Val till landstingsfullmäktige - Valda", Valmyndigheten, 2014-09-28
  21. ^ "2014: Val till kommunfullmäktige - Valda", Valmyndigheten, 2014-09-26
  22. ^ a b Svergedemokraternas vitbok 1988–2014 (PDF) (in Svenska), SE: Expo .
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    • Downs, William M. (2012), Political Extremism in Democracies: Combating Intolerance, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 33, 149 
    • David Crouch. "The rise of the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats: ‘We don’t feel at home any more, and it’s their fault’". the Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
    • Ellinas, Antonis A. (2010), The Media and the Far Right in Western Europe: Playing the Nationalist Card, Cambridge University Press, pp. 10–11 
    • "The far right in northern Europe". Economist. March 17, 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  24. ^ Peter Starke; Alexandra Kaasch; Franca Van Hooren (2013). The Welfare State as Crisis Manager: Explaining the Diversity of Policy Responses to Economic Crisis. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 194.  
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    • Sainsbury, Diane (2012), Welfare States and Immigrant Rights: The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion, Oxford University Press, pp. 226–27 
    • Tolinsson Ting, Kristina (2014), "Sweden: Social Solitariness", European National Identities: Elements, Transitions, Conflicts (Transaction): 246 
    • Finseraas, Henning (2012), "Anti-immigration attitudes, support for redistribution and party choice in Europe", Changing Social Equality: The Nordic Welfare Model in the 21st Century (Policy Press): 23 
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  27. ^ "Distrikt-och kommunföreningar" (in Svenska). SE: Sverigedemokraterna. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  28. ^ "SD-Kuriren". SD-Kuriren. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  29. ^ "Allmänna val 17 september 2006". Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
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  36. ^ Anders Widfeldt (2014). Extreme Right in Scandinavia. Routledge, p.245.
  37. ^ Poohl, Daniel. "Så ljuger SD om sin historia".  
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  39. ^ a b Teitelbaum 2013
  40. ^ a b Widfeldt, Anders (2010), "A fourth phase of the extreme right? Nordic immigration-critical parties in a comparative context", NORDEUROPAforum (1/2): 7–31 
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  42. ^ Meland, Astrid (12 September 2010), "Gikk med naziuniform, hakekors og brunskjorte", Dagbladet 
  43. ^ Rydgren, 2006, p. 108.
  44. ^ a b c Bakken, Laila Ø. (2010-09-25). "Fra kjelleren til Riksdagen".  
  45. ^ a b Rydgren, 2006, p. 109.
  46. ^ a b c Sverigedemokraterna - från gatan till parlamentet, Expo Idag, 25 August 2010 
  47. ^ Rydgren, 2006, p. 116.
  48. ^ "Partiets historik i kronologisk ordning". Sweden Democrats (in Swedish). Archived from the original on November 29, 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  49. ^ Baas, David (2011-09-26). "SD-ledamoten William Petzäll lämnar partiet - blir politisk vilde".  
  50. ^ "Swedish press: scandal shows 'true face' of Sweden Democrats".  
  51. ^ "Åkesson städar upp i sd" (in Svenska).  
  52. ^ "Top Sweden Democrat quits after racist film".  
  53. ^ "Ekeroth takes 'break' after new revelations".  
  54. ^ "SDU: Fel peta Alqvist" (in Svenska).  
  55. ^ "Oinking Sweden Democrat spat at guard".  
  56. ^ "Found bag puts Sweden Democrat MP in doubt".  
  57. ^ Julander, Oscar (29 November 2012). "Isovaaras ersättare tidigare dömd för förtal" (in Svenska).  
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  60. ^ "Jimmie Åkesson kommer tillbaka". Samtiden. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  61. ^ Sveriges Radio. "Uppgifter: Åkesson gör comeback". Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  62. ^ "SD är Sveriges största parti" (in Svenska). YouGov. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
  63. ^ "Efter flyktingkrisen: SD största parti med högsta noteringen någonsin" (in Svenska). Nyheter Idag. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
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  65. ^ Resultat i val till Sveriges riksdag
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  67. ^ a b c "Radical Right-wing Populism in Sweden and Denmark". The Centre for the Study of European Politics and Society (Jens Rydgren). Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  68. ^ "Sverigedemokraternas principprogram" (PDF) (in Svenska). 2005-05-08. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  69. ^ Rydgren, Jens (2005). Från skattemissnöje till etnisk nationalism: Högerpopulism och parlamentarisk högerextremism i Sverige. Studentlitteratur, Lund. |sid=124
  70. ^ Nationalencyklopedin: Sverigedemokraterna (2009-10-27).
  71. ^ Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  72. ^ Mudde, Cas (2007). Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  73. ^ Radical Right-wing Populism in Sweden and Denmark. The Centre for the Study of European Politics and Society (Jens Rydgren). 19 october 2012.
  74. ^ "Granskningsnämnden: Tillåtet att kalla SD främlingsfientligt". Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  75. ^ Tamas, Gellert. "För Sverigedemokraterna är Zlatan inte svensk" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  76. ^ Ullenhag, Erik. "Sverigedemokraterna saknar integrationspolitik" (in Swedish). Regeringskansliet. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  77. ^ Tamas, Gellert. "För Sverigedemokraterna är Zlatan inte svensk". Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  78. ^ Ullenhag, Erik. "Sverigedemokraterna saknar integrationspolitik". Regeringskansliet. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  79. ^ Åkesson, Jimmie. "Vår politik A till Ö". Sverigedemokraterna. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  80. ^ "Folk tycker inte som journalister" (in Svenska). Svenska Dagbladet—Göteborg TT. 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  81. ^ "Vil kopiere Dansk Folkeparti". Klassekampen. 2007-05-21. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  82. ^ "Invandrare—och Sverigedemokrat" (in Svenska). Aftonbladet. 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  83. ^ "Immigrants and Sverigedemokrat". The Local. 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  84. ^ "Tabeller över Sveriges befolkning 2009". Statistiska Centralbyrån. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  85. ^ "SD har flest invandrare på vallistan" (in Svenska). LT. 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  86. ^ "Val till kommunfullmäktige i Södertälje—Valsedlar" (in Svenska). 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  87. ^ "Slutlig rösträkning och mandatfördelning—Val till kommunfullmäktige 2010-09-19—Södertälje kommun" (PDF) (in Svenska). 2010-09-20. Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  88. ^
  89. ^ "SD till attack mot renägande samer" (in Svenska). Svenska Dagbladet. 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  90. ^ a b "Den leende nationalismen" (in Svenska). 2014-12-14. Retrieved 2014-12-27. 
  91. ^ "Sverigedemokraternas Principprogram 2011" (PDF) (in Svenska). 2014-04-23. p. 15. Retrieved 2015-01-01. 
  92. ^ David Crouch. "Swedish far-right leader: Jews must abandon religious identity to be Swedes". the Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  93. ^ "Far-right Swedish leader: Jews have dual identities and can therefor not be truly Swedish, but that it wouldn't necessarily be a negative thing". 18 December 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  94. ^ "Partiernas krav på Björn Söder: Avgå som talman" (in Svenska). 2014-12-15. Retrieved 2014-12-27. 
  95. ^ 2014 Top Ten Worst Global Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Incidents
  96. ^ "Söders uttalande bland de tio värsta under 2014". DN.SE. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  97. ^ "Söder sexa bland antijudiska händelser". Expressen. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  98. ^
  99. ^ "Krafttag mot brottsligheten" (in Svenska). Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  100. ^ "Valmanifest 2010" (PDF) (in Svenska). 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  101. ^ "Socialists win by landslide in Sweden as voters punish governing parties", EurActiv, May 2014 
  102. ^ Teitelbaum 2013:242-265
  103. ^ "Sverigedemokraterna misstolkar begreppet kultur".  
  104. ^ "Jämställdhetspolitik". Sverigedemokraterna (in Swedish). Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  105. ^ "SD siktar in sig på hbt-röster". Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  106. ^ "Botten måste snart vara nådd" (in Svenska). SD-Kuriren. 2007-08-01. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  107. ^ "Präster från Svenska Kyrkan deltar i homosexevenemang" (in Svenska). SD-Kuriren. 2007-08-03. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  108. ^ "Homosexlobbyn kräver, och homosexlobbyn får" (in Svenska). SD-Kuriren. 2007-08-03. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  109. ^ "Kulmen nådd på perversiteterna" (in Svenska). SD-Kuriren. 2007-08-05. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  110. ^ "Att kritisera det okritiserbara" (in Svenska). SD-Kuriren. 2007-08-05. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  111. ^ "Hat-attacken mot Sveriges homosexuella" (in Svenska). Aftonbladet. 2007-08-05. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  112. ^ "Ett nätverk för nazister" (in Svenska). Aftonbladet. 1999-12-02. Retrieved 2006-05-25. 
  113. ^ "Extremparti får mothugg" (in Svenska). Svenska Dagbladet. 2002-05-04. Retrieved 2006-05-25. 
  114. ^ "Sverigedemokraternas utländska kontakter" (in Svenska). Archived from the original on 2004-06-17. Retrieved 2006-05-25. 
  115. ^ "Extremist ska finansiera sd:s EU-val" (in Svenska). Helsingborgs Dagblad. 2004-01-27. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  116. ^ "Sverigedemokraterna får miljoner av rik rasist" (in Svenska). Expressen. 2004-04-24. Retrieved 2006-05-25. 
  117. ^ "Swedish General Election 2002 : media coverage".  
  118. ^ "Locking Out the Sweden Democrats". International Free Press Society (IFPS). 2009-09-18. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  119. ^ "Fritt fram för Sverigedemokraterna att annonsera" (in Svenska). Dagens Nyheter. 2006-06-16. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  120. ^ "Stöd Danmark—Köp danskt!" (in Svenska). 2006-02-13. Archived from the original on 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2006-05-25. 
  121. ^ a b "Muhammedteckningar borta efter Säposamtal" (in Svenska). Dagens Nyheter. 2006-02-10. Retrieved 2006-05-25. 
  122. ^ "Regeringen har inte varit inblandad" (in Svenska). Dagens Nyheter. 2006-02-10. Retrieved 2006-05-26. 
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  127. ^ "Kritik mot stängning av nättidning" (in Svenska). Svenska Dagbladet. 2006-02-10. Retrieved 2006-05-25. 
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  • Green-Pedersen, Christoffer; Odmalm, Pontus (2009). Going different ways? Right-wing parties and the immigrant issue in Denmark and Sweden. Immigration and Integration Policy in Europe (Routledge). pp. 53–67. 
  • Mulinari, Diana; Neergaard, Anders (2012). The Sweden Democrats, racisms and the construction of the Muslim threat. Global Islamophobia: Muslims and Moral Panic in the West (London: Ashgate). 
  • Mulinari, Diana; Neergaard, Anders (February 2014). "We are Sweden Democrats because we care for others: Exploring racisms in the Swedish extreme right". European Journal of Women's Studies 21 (1): 43–56.  
  • Oja, Simon;  
  • Rydgren, Jens (2006). "From tax populism to ethnic nationalism: Radical right-wing populism in Sweden". Berghahn Books.  
  • Teitelbaum, Benjamin (2013). “Come Hear Our Merry Song”: Shifts in the Sound of Contemporary Swedish Radical Nationalism. Ph.D. Dissertation, Brown University.


  • Sten Andersson (28 February 1943 – 16 August 2010)

Other prominent party member

Parliamentary group leader

  • Jimmy Windeskog (2001–2003)
  • Torbjörn Kastell (2003–2004)
  • Jan Milld (2004–2005)
  • David Lång (2005)
  • Björn Söder (2005–2015)
  • Richard Jomshof (2015–present)


Party leader


Election year # of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall seats won +/- Notes
1999 8,568 0.3
0 / 22
2004 28,303 1.1
0 / 19
2009 103,584 3.3
0 / 19
2014 359,248 9.7
2 / 20

European Parliament

Election year # of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall seats won +/- Notes
1988 1,118 0.0
0 / 349
1991 4,887 0.1
0 / 349
1994 13,954 0.3
0 / 349
1998 19,624 0.4 (#8)
0 / 349
2002 76,300 1.4 (#8)
0 / 349
2006 162,463 2.9 (#8)
0 / 349
2010 339,610 5.7 (#6)
20 / 349
2014 801,178 12.9 (#3)
49 / 349


The party's share of the vote by municipality in 2010. Lighter shades indicate a higher percentage of votes. The Sweden Democrats performed particularly well in the southern region of Scania.

Electoral results

also expressed concern over possible government involvement in the event. Peter Eriksson Green Party The spokesperson of the [132], alleging that the government's interference was unconstitutional.Justitieombudsmannen and Justitiekansler with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs) and the Säpo (Security Service SD filed charges against the [131] The shutdown of Sweden Democrats' websites was reported to the

The Sweden Democrats originally planned to publish a set of cartoons in their newspaper SD-Kuriren. However, after the controversy erupted, Jimmie Åkesson issued a statement on SD's website on 9 February 2006, stating that it would refrain from further publications online and in print, due to concerns that it might spur hostile actions against Swedes and Swedish interests.[128][129][130]

This event spurred debate on government censorship in Sweden. The Sweden Democrats also had a hate speech charge filed against them due to the posted caricature.[126] Similar hate speech charges were filed against other Swedish publishers who depicted Muhammad.[121] However, these charges were immediately deemed to be unfounded by the Swedish Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern).[127]

The publication attracted the attention of the Swedish government which informed internet service provider Levonline about the SD's publications. Subsequently, Levonline shut down SD’s web page. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laila Freivalds, denied any direct interference. However, at the same time Laila Freivalds condemned the publication as a provocation.[122][123][124][125] Freivalds then resigned from the Persson Cabinet after being accused of interference with press freedom and lying about such actions.

After the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten published twelve cartoons depicting Muhammad and ignited a controversy during the 2005 autumn and winter, the Sweden Democrats gave their unreserved support to the publication with reference to the freedom of speech. SD stated that it saw no reason why a Danish newspaper should be forced to abide by Muslim rules and prohibitions regarding expression. When the boycott of Danish products was launched in the Middle East, SD launched a "Buy Danish" campaign in support of Danish workers.[120] In 2006 SD entered to the Muhammad cartoon debate by publishing a cartoon depicting Muhammad on its youth league (SDU) and SD-Kuriren websites. The cartoon showed Muhammad from behind holding a mirror in front of his face. However, instead of any facial features, the mirror showed only a blank head. The cartoon was captioned "Muhammad's Face" (Swedish: Muhammeds ansikte).[121]

Muhammad cartoon debate

The Sweden Democrats have complained about difficulties buying advertising space due to the media banning the party from advertisement,[117] which has been criticised by free speech organisations.[118] On June 16, 2006, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet decided to stop their boycott. Expressen, however, still retains a ban on Sweden Democrat advertising.[119]

Media boycott

During the 1990s, many outspoken far-right advocates were involved with the party.[67][112] The party had flyers printed by the French National Front in the 1998 general election,[113][114] and was financially backed for the 2004 European election by Belgian Bernard Mengal.[115][116]


Although SD strongly criticizes what it calls a Homosex Lobby, the party claims that it is not hostile to homosexuals. Furthermore, party leader Jimmie Åkesson expressed concern that what he describes as Islamization of Sweden will eventually lead to the rights of sexual minorities being violated.[105] Published by SD Party secretary Björn Söder on 1 August 2007, a blog article titled Botten måste snart vara nådd[106] (Soon enough we'll hit rock bottom) led to intense debate and criticism.[107][108][109][110][111]

The Sweden Democrats consider children raised in a traditional nuclear family as the preferred option. Those not raised by their biological parents should have the right to associate or at least find out about who they were. In their Family Policy, SD opposes any government sanctioned adoption and insemination to single people, same-sex couples and polyamorous relationships unless the adopting party are close relatives or already have a close relationship with the child.[104] They also state that children who live with a same-sex couple should be adopted to a same-sex couple if they become orphans and there is no pre-determined legal guardian.


The Sweden Democrats advocate a cultural policy that would strip funding for multicultural initiatives and strengthen support for traditional Swedish culture. This agenda has often manifest in opposition to state funding of immigrant cultural organizations and festivals, and support for traditional Swedish craft, folk music, and folk dance groups. The party also tends to oppose state-support for cultural initiatives deemed provocative or elitist.[102] A 2014 letter signed by 52 Swedish anthropologists, including Ronald Stade, critiziced the Sweden Democrats use of the terms "culture" (kultur) and "anthropology" (antropologi) claiming their views on culture was "essentialist and obsolete", saying that culture is "dynamic" and "in constant change".[103]


The Sweden Democrats in their foreign policy reject joining the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union, are opposed to the accession of Turkey to the European Union and want to renegotiate Swedish membership of the European Union.[100][101]

Foreign policy

SD wishes to instate the possibility of life without parole for the worst crimes and to repatriate foreign citizens found guilty of serious crime (which already is general practice in Sweden, though the repatriation is usually limited to a few years after which the offenders are welcome to reapply for asylum). SD also wants to establish a public register of convicted pedophiles.[99]

Law and order

In an interview for Dagens Nyheter, Second Deputy Speaker of the Riksdag and then-party secretary Björn Söder elaborated on the SD party programme with respect to its views on national identity by saying that he personally did not think people with dual national identities in Sweden would not necessarily identify themselves as Swedish. Although an immigrant of any ethnic background in theory can become a Swedish citizen, they would have to adapt and be assimilated in order to be considered Swedish in the cultural sense.[90][91] Björn Söder stated that the officially recognized Swedish minority peoples (e.g. Sami, Tornedalians and Jews) in many cases have dual cultural identities and that they probably would be proud of both heritages.[90] It was widely interpreted that Söder had stated in the interview that Jews cannot be Swedish unless they abandon their Jewish identity.[92][93] Söder's comments were understood to be anti-semitic and caused Swedish parliamentary groups and party leaders to call for Björn Söder's resignation.[94] The Simon Wiesenthal Center listed the statement as number six on their list of the top ten most anti-semitic events of 2014.[95][96][97] Söder responded to the allegations of anti-semitism with a column of his own that appeared in The Jerusalem Post on January 5, 2015, writing in part, "In a biased article in one of Sweden’s largest newspapers, Dagens Nyheter, some of my statements were dramatically taken out of context to erroneously credit me with opinions that do not correspond with reality. Politically biased journalists and political opponents have further distorted the statements, resulting in a presentation virtually the complete opposite of my actual statements and opinions. This is now distributed in the international press, such as in the Post, which therefore necessitates a clarification on my part." [98]

Views on national identity

The Sweden Democrats are critical of the special rights given to the indigenous Sami people of northern Sweden. In 2008, the party accepted a motion against the rights to reindeer husbandry. They have argued that those "who do not involve themselves with reindeer husbandry are treated as second class citizens" and that the privileges the herders have are "undemocratic". They want to restructure the councils and funds that are used to benefit the Sami population, so that they are used "regardless of ethnic identity and business operations." They also want to abolish the Sami Parliament which claims special privileges for an "ethnic minority while the society claims equal rights for others."[89]

Sami people

SD wishes to lower the tax rate for the elderly, as well as increase subsidized housing for the elderly. SD also wishes to allocate additional resources to municipalities in order to provide seniors with greater food assistance and, in general, improve quality of life. SD has also emphasized a desire to crack down on abuses and crimes of which the elderly are particular targets.[88]

The elderly

According to Aftonbladet, 14% of SD members are of immigrant origin,[82][83] which corresponds to the proportion of foreign-born in Sweden.[84] For the 2010 election in the municipality of Södertälje (Stockholm County), SD was the only party with a majority of immigrants on its electoral list, mostly Assyrians from the Middle East.[85] Polling 7.31% (3,447 votes), SD's municipal list in Södertälje got 5 of the 65 municipal seats.[86] Nader Helawi and 4 other Swedes from immigrant origin will sit as municipal councilors.[87]

SD has referred to the recommendations from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which state that the return of refugees should be the solution to refugee problems. Former party secretary between 2003–2004, Torbjörn Kastell had said in 2002 that the party wanted "a multicultural world, not a multicultural society."[67] In a 2008 survey, a significant minority of 39% of all Swedes thought that there were "too many foreigners in the country", and in 2007 a survey showed that 49% of all Swedes wanted to restrict the number of asylum-seekers.[80] In recent years, SD has tried to approach the immigration policy of the Danish People's Party, which from 2001 to 2011 provided parliamentary support for the former Danish liberal/conservative government in return for a tightening of Danish immigration policies and stricter naturalization laws.[81]

As the party considers Sweden to have had too much immigration in later years, which it claims have seriously threatened national identity and societal cohesion, SD wants to reinstate a common Swedish national identity which in turn would mean a stronger inner solidarity. SD rejects the policy of multiculturalism, but accepts a multiethnic society where cultural assimilation is promoted. SD wishes to strongly restrict immigration, and give generous support for immigrants who instead of wanting to assimilate in Sweden voluntarily prefer to emigrate back to their country of origin. As more state funds are made free from funding mass immigration, SD believes that Sweden in turn will have the possibility to better help refugees in their own nearby locations.

The Sweden Democrats believe that the current Swedish immigration and integration policies have been a failure.[75][76] SD is the only party in the Swedish Parliament without an integration policy.[77][78] They oppose integration because they believe that integration involves "meeting in the middle" and do not think that the indigenous Swedish people should have to bear the burden of what they see as a reckless immigration policy.[79] SD feels that the current situation with a large number of immigrants living in cultural enclaves is not beneficial for the country. They argue that the immigrants themselves are rootless, that there have been rising antagonistic tensions between various population groups (socially, ethnically, religiously and culturally), and the immigration in itself, SD says, has caused social and economic strains on the country.


The Sweden Democrats' party programme is based on nationalism and social conservatism.[67] The Sweden Democrat's ideological pillar is described in their manifesto first published on 4 May 2003 during Jansson leadership and then revised on 8 May 2005 (one day after Åkesson became the new chairman).[68] Nordic Studies scholar Benjamin Teitelbaum has called them radical nationalist.[39] The party has been described by sociologist Jens Rydgren, and others, as xenophobic, racist and right-wing populist.[69][70][71][72][73] In 2013, a Sveriges Radio journalist called the party xenophobic, which resulted in a complaint lodged to the broadcasting regulator. The Swedish Broadcasting Commission determined that this description was acceptable to use.[74]

Ideology and political positions

Amid media coverage regarding the high immigration figures and the European migrant crisis the Sweden Democrats soared in all opinion polls during the summer of 2015, even topping web-based polls from YouGov and Sentio in late summer, with a little over a quarter of the vote.[62][63] The party also saw a rising support in the phone-based polls, although the swing was lower. This was the first time in a 100 years[64][65][66] that any other party than the Social Democrats and the Moderates had topped official opinion polls.

On Monday, March 23, 2015 it was announced that Åkesson would return from his leave of absence to resume his duties as party leader following an interview to be broadcast on the Friday, March 27 installment of the Skavlan program on SVT, and subsequent press conference with the Swedish media.[60][61]

In the 2014 election the Sweden Democrats received 12.9% of the votes, doubling their support and becoming the third-largest party. Other parties, however, remain firm in their decision to isolate them from exerting influence. Some time after that, Åkesson announced he would go on sick leave due to burnout.[58][59] Mattias Karlsson was appointed to temporarily take over Åkesson's duties as party leader.

Rise in support (2014– )

[57].Markus Wiechel He left his seat in the Riksdag on November 29, and was replaced by [56] Only two weeks after Almqvist and Ekeroth were forced to step down, fellow MP

Sweden Democrat supporters in Stockholm during the 2014 European elections

In November 2012, videos recorded in August 2010 were released in chunks over three days by Swedish newspaper Expressen (who, a year earlier, had released the same videos but without managing to create a scandal). This became known as the Iron pipe scandal. However, all of the videos in their entirety had been released on YouTube by Erik Almqvist back in 2010. The videos, recorded by MP Kent Ekeroth, and featuring him and fellow Sweden Democrats Erik Almqvist (MP) and Christian Westling, showed Almqvist arguing with comedian Soran Ismail. Almqvist was thereafter referring to Sweden as "my country, not your country" as an insult at Ismail. They were also shown arguing with a drunken man. A woman was also seen approaching Kent Ekeroth while filming, he then called her a whore and pushed her out of the way. A few minutes later they are seen picking up iron bars.[50] Only a month after party leader Åkesson had instated a zero-tolerance policy towards racism in the party,[51] the video caused Almqvist to leave his position as the party's economic policy spokesperson and his place in the executive committee on November 14. He excused himself as having been under a lot of pressure and threats of violence at the time.[52] As more of the video was released revealing the other two men's involvement, the party announced on November 15 that Ekeroth would take a break from his position as the party's justice policy spokesman.[53] Almqvist and Ekeroth both took time off from their parliament seats. Sweden Democratic Youth president Gustav Kasselstrand and vice president William Hahne criticized the decision to remove Almqvist and Ekeroth in an op-ed in Dagens Nyheter, arguing that the party should not give in to media pressure.[54]

Sweden Democrat MP William Petzäll was persuaded to leave the party on 26 September 2011 while still retaining his parliamentary seat.[49] This was done because of Petzäll's substance abuse and the problem that might cause for SD's public image. Petzäll later died of an overdose, and the seat was turned over to Stellan Bojerud in September 2012.

In the 2010 general election, SD won representation in the Swedish Riksdag for the first time, with 5.7% of the vote and 20 MPs.

Into parliament (2010–2014)

Since the 2000s, the so-called "Scania gang" or "Gang of Four"; Jimmie Åkesson (party leader since 2005), Björn Söder, Mattias Karlsson and Richard Jomshof continued and expanded the moderation policy which included ousting openly extremist members.[44] Before the 2002 election, former Moderate Party MP Sten Christer Andersson defected to SD, citing that the party had gotten rid of its extreme-right elements.[46] In 2003, the party declared the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be a cornerstone of its policies.[47] In 2006 the party changed its logo from the torch, to featuring an Anemone hepatica, reminiscent of the party's very first, but short-lived logo (a stylized Myosotis scorpioides).[48]

[45].National Democrats In 2001 the most extreme faction was expelled from the party, leading to the formation of the more radical [46] From 1995, the party's new leader

Jimmie Åkesson, interviewed before an SVT party-leader debate in 2014.

Moderation and growth (1995–2010)

While opinion on the early SD vary, it is generally agreed (including by the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism and Expo) that SD has never been a Nazi party, although various "connections" have existed through their members.[37][38] The party sponsored music of the nationalist "Viking rock" band Ultima Thule, and various party officials today acknowledge that being fans of Ultima Thule's music figured prominently in their decision to become politically engaged.[39] The party's first auditor Gustaf Ekström was a Waffen-SS veteran and had been a member of the national socialist party Svensk Socialistisk Samling in the 1940s,[40] and the early chairman Anders Klarström had been active in Nordiska rikspartiet ("Nordic Reich Party").[40][41] Early on the party sought international connections with the National Democratic Party of Germany, the American National Association for the Advancement of White People (founded by David Duke) and publications like the Nazi Nation Europa and Nouvelle École, a newspaper that advocates racial biology.[22]

The Sweden Democrats was founded in 1988 as a successor to the Sweden Party, which in turn had been formed in 1986 by the merger of Bevara Sverige Svenskt (BSS, English: Keep Sweden Swedish) and a faction of the Swedish Progress Party.[35] SD claims as its date of foundation 6 February 1988 although observers rather see the party's foundation as part of a complex decade-long series of events, and some have even questioned that a meeting took place on 6 February.[36] The party had its roots in Swedish fascism,[35] and was a part of the white supremacy movement;[11] initially it was characterized by right-wing extremism and activism. SD's long used logo from the 1990s until 2006 was a Swedish version of the UK National Front torch.[35]

The Sweden Democrats continued to use the Keep Sweden Swedish as a slogan.

Early years (1988–1995)



  • History 1
    • Early years (1988–1995) 1.1
    • Moderation and growth (1995–2010) 1.2
    • Into parliament (2010–2014) 1.3
    • Rise in support (2014– ) 1.4
  • Ideology and political positions 2
    • Immigration 2.1
    • The elderly 2.2
    • Sami people 2.3
    • Views on national identity 2.4
    • Law and order 2.5
    • Foreign policy 2.6
    • Culture 2.7
    • Family 2.8
  • Controversies 3
    • Media boycott 3.1
    • Muhammad cartoon debate 3.2
  • Electoral results 4
    • Riksdag 4.1
    • European Parliament 4.2
  • Leadership 5
    • Party leader 5.1
    • Secretary 5.2
    • Parliamentary group leader 5.3
    • Other prominent party member 5.4
  • Bibliography 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

In the 2010 general election the Sweden Democrats for the first time crossed the four per cent threshold necessary for parliamentary representation. This increase in popularity has been compared by international media to other similar anti-immigration movements in Europe.[30] The party polled 5.7% and won 20 parliamentary seats.[31][32] The Sweden Democrats continued this success in the 2014 general election, polling 12.9% and winning 49 (14% of) seats in parliament.[19] With a vote share of 22.16% in the constituency of Scania County North & East the party beat one of the two major parties for the first time in one of the 29 constituencies where seats to parliament are divided.[33] The party remains isolated in the Riksdag as the other parties maintain a policy of refusing to co-operate with them.[34]

In the aftermath of the 2006 municipality elections, and their success in the southern counties of Sweden, the Sweden Democrats began to grow on the national level as well. Although the party's very first roots weren't tied to any specific geographical part of the country, it has since 2006 been a movement that has grown from the south towards the capital, Stockholm.


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