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Supply Equals Success? The Sweden Democrats’ Breakthrough in the 2006 Local Elections

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  • Erlingsson, Gissur

    ()
    (School of Social Sciences, Växjö University, Sweden)

  • Loxbo, Karl

    ()
    (School of Social Sciences, Växjö University, Sweden)

  • Öhrvall, Richard

    ()
    (Statistics Sweden, Stockholm, Sweden)

Abstract

The Swedish party system has been one of the world’s most stable, and anti-immigrant parties have been largely absent from the centre-stage of Swedish politics. It is thus peculiar that an anti-immigrant party, the Sweden Democrats (SD), made a dramatic breakthrough in the 2006 local elections, gaining representation in 144 out of 290 municipalities. The purpose of this article is to explain why the SD gained representation in almost half of the Swedish municipalities. Results indicate support for a supply-oriented argument: whether the SD ran with a formal ballot or not has a substantial and statistically significant effect on their probability of receiving representation even when a series of variables, suggested by previous research, is controlled for. The result has important ramifications, since it implies that no obvious socioeconomic factors, e.g. local ‘fertile grounds’, brought SDs success about. Rather, what decided its fate was whether or not the party had an organizational presence and actual candidates running for seats.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Ratio Institute in its series Ratio Working Papers with number 132.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 04 Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0132

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Keywords: Anti-immigrant parties; elections; Sweden;

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  1. Joseph Willey, 1998. "Institutional Arrangements and the Success of New Parties in Old Democracies," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 46(3), pages 651-668, 08.
  2. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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