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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Erlingsson, Gissur & Loxbo, Karl & Öhrvall, Richard, 2009. "Supply Equals Success? The Sweden Democrats’ Breakthrough in the 2006 Local Elections," Ratio Working Papers 132, The Ratio Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0132
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    File URL: http://www.ratio.se/pdf/wp/ge_kl_ro_swedendemocrats.pdf
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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:81:y:1987:i:04:p:1289-1319_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    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).
    3. Jackman, Robert W. & Volpert, Karin, 1996. "Conditions Favouring Parties of the Extreme Right in Western Europe," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(04), pages 501-521, October.
    4. 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, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anti-immigrant parties; elections; Sweden;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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