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Where did the Sweden Democrats get all their extra votes from?

The Sweden Democrat party (SD) grew its vote share in every municipality it already controlled, grew its vote share among blue- and white-collar workers, and overtook Centre as the party of the countryside.

Where did the Sweden Democrats get all their extra votes from?
Sweden Democrats supporters watch Jimmi Åkesson's summer speech at the castle in Sölvesborg, his hometown in August. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The far-right party is the unquestioned winner in the 2022 election, winning the votes of more than a fifth of all Swedish citizens, and overtaking the Moderate Party as the country’s second-largest party.  So where did all the votes come from? 

Well, everywhere! 

The party seems to have grown its share of the vote in every municipality in Sweden, apart from Malmö, Övertorneå, Lund, and Landskrona.

But it gained the most new voters in the most northern parts of the country, where it has for the first time become a force to be reckoned with. In Norrbotten, the party won 20.3 percent of the vote, up from 15.8 in 2018. In neighbouring Västerbotten, it won 14.5 percent, up from 10.1 percent in 2018. In Gävleborg it won 24.2 percent (19.6), and in Dalarna 25.7 percent (20.7). 

Retained dominance in its southern Swedish homeland 

The party retained its dominance in Skåne, its traditional homeland, winning the most parliamentary votes in 23 of the county’s 33 districts. 

In the four municipalities that it already controls, Sölvesborg in Blekinge, and Hörby, Bjuv, and Svälöv in Skåne, the party grew its vote share by 10 percent, 4 percent, 6 percent, and 3.8 percent respectively. The party appears to have largely proved those who predicted chaos and scandal in the towns where it seized control in 2018 to be wrong. 

Which parties did the Sweden Democrats get their votes from? 

According to the opinion survey carried out for SVT at polling stations, the party gained the most new votes from the Moderate Party, followed by the Social Democrats. This would indicate that the strategy pursued by both parties, but particularly by the Moderates, of adopting some of the Sweden Democrats’ tough rhetoric on immigration and crime, has not, as some hoped, won back voters from the party, but instead had the opposite effect. 

Which social classes did the party most appeal to? 

One of the party’s most striking achievements in the election has been managing to take a significant share of the vote in almost all classes, and amongst almost all types of worker. 

  • Among blue-collar workers, SD won 29 percent of the vote, only slightly below the 32 percent that went to the Social Democrats, Sweden’s traditional workers’ party. 
  • Among business owners, SD won 24 percent of the vote, only slightly below the 26 percent that went to the Moderates, the party of business. 
  • Among agricultural workers and farmers, SD won 26 percent of the vote, ahead of the Centre Party, which grew out of Sweden’s farmers’ party, which only got 20 percent.  

It was only among white-collar workers, or tjänstemän, that the party made less of an impact, coming third with 15 percent of the vote, behind the Social Democrats on 32 percent and the Moderates on 22 percent. 

Source. SVT Valu

Member comments

  1. Seems, that the Swedes started to slide down. I looked at party preferences broken down by commune and found that the wealthier a kommune (the higher the average income), the less likely it is to vote for the far right. It’s so simple…The bad news is that there are further difficulties that the new government and society should overcome. If the most crucial solution for handling the upcoming problems is just reduced and simplified to the “immigrant issue” – Swedes will find themselves in a divided society where the right wing just focuses on a populist narrative that won`t manage the real problems of Swedes. That can be the “circus vicious “- the more impotent the leadership the more the immigrants will be accused and hunted. I am very pessimistic. (As a brand new citizen)

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