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Introducing the Christian Democrats

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Introducing the Christian Democrats
21:32 CEST+02:00
The Christian Democrats (Kristdemokraterrna - KD) are one of the three smaller parties which make up the centre-right Alliance coalition that has been in government since 2006, having polled 6.6 percent in the 2006 general election.

Social minister Göran Hägglund is the party leader. The party has a further three cabinet ministers – Minister for Financial Markets Mats Odell, and Minister for Public Health and Social Services Maria Larsson.

History and ideology

The Christian Democratic party was founded in 1964 but did not enter parliament of its own accord until 1991. The party has its roots in the decision to end religious education in elementary schools and it retains strong ties with religious and evangelical groups.

Since negotiations with the Centre Party in the mid-1980s, which led to former party leader Alf Svensson taking a seat in parliament, the party has remained firmly on the centre-right of Swedish politics and espouses a brand of conservative neo-liberalism.

The party's first taste of power was as part of the coalition during the crisis government and reform years under Carl Bildt between 1991 and 1994, with three ministerial posts.

While the party's profile is based on Christian conservative values, Göran Hägglund has sought to modernise the party somewhat, having for example adopted a pro-choice stance on abortion. The party's support of legislation enforcing the right of gay couples to marry is further indication of ideological shift during the 2000s.

2010 election platform

Göran Hägglund dominates the Christian Democrats' election campaign which is being fouight under the slogan of ”A more humane Sweden”. The party's focus is on the family, care for the elderly, improving conditions for small business and lowering taxes.

Key points

*Cut taxes for the elderly

*Double the childcare allowance

*Cut regulations for business owners, stimulate provision of venture capital

Comment

The Christian Democrats gained over 11 percent of the votes in 1998, but in the 12 years since then support has declined to around 5 percent, according to recent polls.

As one of the Alliance coalition's smaller parties, KD has struggled to gain exposure for its ideas and has suffered as a result. With a little over a week to go before polling day, the risk of falling below the four percent threshold for parliamentary seats remains a real concern.

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

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