Parliamentary Chamber: Riksdagen


<<< Return to the Historical Archive page of parliamentary election results for SWEDEN <<<


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  18 September 1988

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  Following the previous (September 1985) general elections, Prime Minister Olof Palme (Social Democratic Party) was assassinated in February 1986 and succeeded by the Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Ingvar Carlsson. The 1988 Riksdag elections were held simultaneously with polling on the local level.

As in the past, the socialist bloc (comprising the Social Democrats and the Left (Communist) Party) was again challenged by the centre-right non-socialist or "bourgeois" bloc of the Moderate (Conservative) Party, the Liberals and the Centre Party. Mr. Carlsson focused his campaign on domestic issues, pointing to his administration's good economic record (low unemployment, rising industrial output, high standard of living) but also stressing the need to improve the welfare system and to reduce high tax rates. The traditional opposition, while calling for greater economic growth, was unable to arrive at a common programme, especially vis--vis lowering taxes. All parties, moreover, promised to take action on the environment, which issue seemingly outweighed all others in public opinion polls and boosted the popularity of the Ecology (Greens) Party.

On polling day marked by a relatively low turnout, the socialist bloc emerged virtually unscathed, retaining an absolute majority of Riksdag seats. The Greens captured enough votes (mainly at the expense of the bourgeois parties) so as to become the first new party in the Riksdag in some 70 years, but not enough to obtain the balance of power as polls had predicted. Prime Minister Carlsson, although called "The Foot" in reference to his plain appearance, was able to overcome recent political scandals that had plagued his Government and, on 4 October, announced the composition of his new Cabinet.

Round no 1 (18 September 1988): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 6,330,023
Voters 5,441,050 (85.95%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 67,331
Valid votes 5,373,719

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Social Democratic Party 2,321,826 43.2
Moderate Party (Conservatives) 983,221 18.3
Liberal Party 655,720 12.2
Centre Party 607,240 11.3
Left Party (Communists) 314,031 5.8
Ecology (Greens) Party 296,935 5.5

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Social Democratic Party 156 -3
Moderate Party (Conservatives) 66 -10
Liberal Party 44 -7
Centre Party 42 -2
Left Party (Communists) 21 +2
Ecology (Greens) Party 20 +20

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 216
Women: 133

Distribution of seats according to age:  
Under 35 years 11
35-44 years 71
45-54 years 159
55-64 years 100
65 and over 8

<<< Return to the Historical Archive page of parliamentary election results for SWEDEN <<<

Copyright 1988 Inter-Parliamentary Union