• Sweden edition
 
2010 ELECTION COVERAGE
Introducing the Liberals

Introducing the Liberals

Published: 08 Sep 2010 11:50 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Sep 2010 11:50 GMT+02:00

The Liberals are one of the three smaller parties which make up the centre-right Alliance coalition that has been in government since 2006, having polled 7.5 percent in the 2006 general election.

Education minister Jan Björklund is the party leader. The party has a further three government ministers - Minister for Higher Education and Research Tobias Krantz, Minister of EU Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson and Minister for Integration and Gender Equality Nyamko Sabuni.

History and ideology

The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet liberalerna – fp) is a social liberal political party with roots dating back to the end of royal autocracy in 1809. The party's base is mostly among the middle-class and is known for its positive stance toward the euro, EU, nuclear power, and Nato, and for its no-nonsense profile on education issues.

Aside from taking its place in a war-time coalition government, the Liberals first experienced power in a three party coalition government in 1976 under Prime Minister Thorbjörn Fälldin, which ultimately came to an end in 1982.

After being part of the crisis government and reform years under Carl Bildt between 1991 and 1994, the party had a long period in opposition.

The Liberals enjoyed a successful 2002 election, in an otherwise disappointing year the centre-right, but was criticised for adopting populist right-wing rhetoric when proposing a language test requirement for obtaining Swedish citizenship.

The party leader since 2007 is Jan Björklund, a former army major and school-teacher, known for his tough stance on order in schools. Björklund recently aired his view on the re-nationalisation of the public schools system, currently the reserve of municipalities.

The party supports more open immigration, especially for economic migrants.

The Liberal Party under Jan Björklund has been described as standing for a strain of liberalism dubbed ”law and order liberalism” and the party regular defends the ”right to place demands” on groups in society such as immigrants and the unemployed.

Gender equality minister Nyamko Sabuni has meanwhile been criticised from some quarters for declining to identify herself as a feminist.

2010 election platform

The Liberals campaign is very much focused on party leader Jan Björklund and equality minister Nyamko Sabuni, and the party is pushing its education and integration line as the party of action which does not shy from tough choices.

Key points

*Grades from 12 years of age and the re-establishment of vocational training at upper secondary school (gymnasium) level; more funds to higher education

*Nuclear power expansion

*Euro membership

*Cut segregation with a focus on jobs and Swedish language skills; citizenship course for newly arrived immigrants

*Establishment of a European police force

*Identify men's violence against women as the most ”acute” equality issue, propose an outlawing of forced and child marriages

Comment

The Liberals have enjoyed a rebound in the polls recently with Björklund's straightforward approach putting the party in a strong position to wrestle the position of the Alliance's second party away from the Centre Party.

To return to the election guide main page, click here.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft
The people in this picture are not those from the story. Photo: TT

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft

A woman in Gothenburg who accused a beggar of robbing her has been charged with fraud and false accusations. READ () »

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Photo: Kungahuset

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess

Sweden's royal family has set the date for the baptism of Princess Leonore. READ () »

The Local List
Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

With Swedish Game of Thrones fans frothing at the mouth at the season four premiere, The Local revisits its list of ten reasons why the hit books and show are (probably) based in Sweden. READ () »

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers
The Kockums Malmö shipyard and FMV headquarters. Files: TT

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers

After the Swedish military raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp, a military expert tells The Local why recent Russian aggression means Sweden's Saab needs to take control of national submarine production. READ () »

Swedish kids crack adult content 'code' at school
A child, unrelated to the story, on her computer. File photo: TT

Swedish kids crack adult content 'code' at school

Swedish parents who busted their children looking at adult content online were shocked to find the kids saying 'they'd learned the code at school'. READ () »

Industry bellwether SKF recovers to turn profit
A file image of ballbearings. Photo: Shutterstock

Industry bellwether SKF recovers to turn profit

After a drab end to 2013, Swedish ballbearing makers SKF anew posted a profit in its first quarter review. It could spell good news for the manufacturing industry worldwide. READ () »

Swedish Hobbit actor jailed in cocaine case
Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt. File photo: TT

Swedish Hobbit actor jailed in cocaine case

Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt has appealed a five-month prison sentence, handed down on Tuesday after he was found guilty of buying cocaine. READ () »

Property of the Week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
The property in Skinskatteberg. Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

The Swedish countryside is littered with small second homes, many up for a steal if you can see beyond dated wallpaper and imagine a country retreat with chanterelles and lingonberries growing in your backyard. READ () »

Puppies lost in 'black market' chihuahua raid
A chihuahua papillon crossbreed puppy. File photo: Shutterstock

Puppies lost in 'black market' chihuahua raid

Thieves escaped from a flat in Malmö on Monday with jewellery, electronics, and four chihuahua-papillon puppies. Police worry the dogs will be sold on the black market, a growing trend in Sweden. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
Sweden's worst office clichés revealed

Sweden's worst office clichés revealed

"We have to hit the brakes and the gas at the same time." Does your Swedish boss confuse you? You're not alone. Swedes have crowned that phrase as the worst workplace cliché of the year. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Advertisement:
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Society
'Blondes have more brains': Swedish study
TT
Society
VIDEO: Leaked 'Save Slussen' film goes viral
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching, March 28-30
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

723
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com