Sweden's Social Democratic Workers' Party


November 30, 2021

Sveriges socialdemokratiska arbetareparti (SAP; German Social Democratic Workers' Party of Sweden), Socialdemokraterna (S) for short, is a partly left-wing political party that is traditionally represented in Sweden's Reichstag. It received the highest number of votes in all Reichstag elections since 1917 and, from 1923 onwards, was the Swedish Prime Minister for the longest period of the 20th century. In the 2018 Reichstag election, SAP received 28.3% of the vote and 100 of the 349 seats. This was her worst result since the Reichstag election in 1908. Stefan Löfven, SAP party leader from January 27, 2012 to November 4, 2021, was elected Prime Minister of Sweden on October 2, 2014.


Founding of the party and the struggle for the right to vote (1889–1920)

The Social Democratic Labor Party is the oldest party in Sweden. It was founded on April 23, 1889. The formation of trade unions in the 1880s and the founding of social democratic newspapers in Malmö in 1882 and Stockholm in 1885 by August Palm were the first important steps on the way to founding a party. In the beginning, the party was heavily influenced by German social democracy. The first party programs took over much of the German Gotha program and later the Erfurt program. The desired socialist transformation of society should take place through reforms after a democratically legitimized takeover of government through elections. In 1896 Claes Tholin became the party's first chairman. In the same year Hjalmar Branting was elected to the Reichstag as the first Social Democrat with the support of the Liberals. In 1898 a trade union umbrella organization, the state organization (Landsorganisation LO) was formed. The close link between the party and the trade union has been of great importance in the history of the labor movement. The political struggle at the beginning of the 20th century was mainly about the introduction of universal suffrage. In this struggle the Liberals were allies, and between 1917 and 1920 the Social Democrats were coalition partners in a Liberal-led government. After the goal with the introduction of universal suffrage and women's suffrage in 1921 had been achieved, this collaboration was ended. During the First World War, the internal party disputes between the reformist party leadership and the more radical left wing of the party also culminated, which ultimately led to the exclusion of radical forces and the founding of the Swedish Social Democratic Left Party (Sveriges socialdemokratiska vänsterparti), which from 1921 called itself the Communist Party (Kommunistiska Partiet) , led.

Between the wars and the Second World War (1920–1945)

The expectations of winning a majority in the Reichstag after the electoral reform of 1921 were high, but they were not fulfilled. The first social democratic prime minister, Hjalmar Branting, was able to rule with two brief interruptions between 1920 and 1926, but the governments did not have a parliamentary majority and were accordingly weak. At the same time there was radicalization within the party, and the demand for socialization / nationalization grew louder and louder. Under the impression of the world economic crisis and mass unemployment as well as the threat of fascism, the socialization policy was put on the back burner. After the 1932 election, a minority government under Per Albin Hansson (1932-1946 Prime Minister) was formed with parliamentary support from the Peasant Party, which mainly dealt with crisis policy. After the 1936 election, cooperation between the two parties was deepened in a government coalition. The stable parliamentary situation also made it possible to conduct an active social policy and a welfare state program that create a “people's home”

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