|Split from||Swedish Social Democratic Party|
|Headquarters||Kungsgatan 84, Stockholm|
|Youth wing||Young Left|
|European affiliation||Maintenant le Peuple|
|European Parliament group||The Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL|
|Nordic affiliation||Nordic Green Left Alliance|
27 / 349
1 / 21
116 / 1,597
750 / 12,780
The Left Party (Swedish : Vänsterpartiet [ˈvɛ̂nːstɛrpaˌʈiːɛt] ( listen ); V) is a socialist political party in Sweden.
On economic issues, the party opposes privatizations and advocates increased public expenditure.The Left Party was against accession to the European Union, and supported a Swedish exit from the EU until February 2019. It attempted to get Sweden to join the Non-Aligned Movement in 1980, but did not succeed. The party supports feminism.
From 1998 to 2006, the Left Party was in a confidence-and-supply arrangement with the ruling Social Democrats and the Green Party. Since 2014, it has supported the minority government of Social Democrats and Greens in the Swedish parliament, as well as in many of Sweden's counties and municipalities.
The Left Party is a member of the Nordic Green Left Alliance, and its sole MEP sits in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group. In 2018, the party joined Maintenant le Peuple.
The party has never been part of a government at the national level, though it lends its parliamentary support to the Swedish Social Democratic Party-led government in the Riksdag.
The party originated as a split from the Swedish Social Democratic Party in 1917, as the Swedish Social Democratic Left Party (Sveriges socialdemokratiska vänsterparti [ˈsvæ̌rjɛs sʊsɪˈɑ̂ːldɛmʊˌkrɑːtɪska ˈvɛ̂nːstɛrpaˌʈiː] ( listen ); SSV), and became the Communist Party of Sweden in 1921. In 1967, the party was renamed Left Party – the Communists (Vänsterpartiet Kommunisterna [ˈvɛ̂nːstɛrpaˌʈiːɛt kɔmɵˈnɪ̌sːtɛɳa] ( listen ); VPK); it adopted its current name in 1990.
This section needs additional citations for verification .(February 2019)
Revolutionary fervour engulfed Sweden in 1917.Riots took place in many cities. In Västervik, a workers council took control of day-to-day affairs. In Stockholm, soldiers marched together with workers on May Day. In the upper-class neighbourhood of Stockholm, Östermalm, residents formed paramilitary structures to defend themselves from a possible armed revolution.
The party originated as a split from the Swedish Social Democratic Party in 1917, as the Swedish Social Democratic Left Party (Sveriges socialdemokratiska vänsterparti, SSV). The split occurred as the Social Democratic Party did not support the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Russia, whereas SSV did support the Bolsheviks. Another reason for the split was also the opposition against the social democratic cooperation with the Liberals and the increasing militarism. The SSV brought with them 15 of the 87 Social Democratic members of parliament and the youth wing. Many of the breakaways were inspired by Lenin's revolutionary Bolsheviks, others by libertarian socialism. Almost all SSV leaders eventually returned to the Social Democrats (SAP), but the foundation was laid for a party on the left wing of the labor movement.
In 1921, in accordance with the 21 theses of the Comintern, the party name was changed to Communist Party of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges kommunistiska parti [ˈsvæ̌rjɛs kɔmɵˈnɪ̌sːtɪska paˈʈiː] ( listen ); SKP [ɛskoːˈpeː] ( listen )). Liberal and non-revolutionary elements were purged. They regrouped under the name SSV. In total, 6,000 out of 17,000 party members were expelled.[ citation needed ]
Zeth Höglund, the main leader of the party during the split from the Social Democrats, left the party in 1924. Höglund was displeased with the developments in Moscow after the death of Vladimir Lenin, and he founded his own Communist Party, independent from the Comintern. Around 5,000 party members followed Höglund.
On 23 and 24 January 1926, SKP organized a trade union conference with delegates representing 80,000 organized workers.
In 1927, SKP organized a conference of National Association of the Unemployed, and called for the abolition of the Unemployment Commission (AK).
In 1929, a major split, the largest in the history of the party, took place. Nils Flyg, Karl Kilbom, Ture Nerman, all MPs, and the majority of the party membership were expelled by the Comintern. The expelled were called Kilbommare, and those loyal to the Comintern were called Sillenare (after their leader Hugo Sillén). Out of 17,300 party members, 4,000 sided with Sillén and the Comintern. Conflicts erupted locally over control of party offices and property. In Stockholm, the office of the central organ, held by the Kilbommare, was besieged by Comintern loyalists. Fist-fights erupted in Gothenburg, in a clash over control of the party office. Effectively, the Kilbom-Flyg factions continued to operate their party under the name of Socialist Party, soon renamed Socialistiska partiet. Notably, they took with them the central organ of the party, Folkets Dagblad Politiken . SKP started new publications, including Ny Dag and Arbetar-Tidningen .
Under Sillén's leadership, the party adhered to the "Class against Class"-line, denouncing any co-operation with the Social Democrats. Sven Linderot, a dynamic young leader, become the party chairman.
The infamous Ådalen shootings of unarmed demonstrating workers took place in 1931. This development led to increased labour militancy and gave new life to the crisis-ridden SKP.
The Spanish Civil War began in 1936. SKP and its youth wing sent a sizeable contingent to fight in the International Brigades. 520 Swedes took part in the brigades and 164 of them died there.Simultaneously, an extensive solidarity work for the Second Spanish Republic and the people of Spain was organized in Sweden.
During the 1930s, the party was rebuilt; as the Kilbom-Flyg party crumbled, the party base was enhanced. By 1939, SKP had 19,116 members.
The Second World War (1939–1945) was a difficult time for the party. The party was the sole political force in Sweden supporting the Soviet side in the Winter War, which was frequently used as a pretext for the repression against the party. The party supported Soviet military expansion along its Western border. Ny Dag, the main party organ, wrote on 26 July: "The border states have been liberated from their dependence of imperialist superpowers through the help from the great socialist worker's state".
Moreover, the party supported the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The Central Committee adopted a declaration in September 1939, which read: "The ruling cliques in England and France have in fear of Bolshevism, in their badly hidden sympathy for Fascism, in fear of workers power in Europe, refused to enter into an agreement with adoptable conditions for the Soviet Union to effectively crush the plans of the warmongers. They have supported the refusal of Poland to accept the Soviet help. The Soviet Union has thus, in clear accordance with its consequent politics of peace, through a non-aggression pact with Germany sought to defend the 170-million people of the first socialist state against Fascist attacks and the bottomless misery of a world war."
When Nazi Germany invaded Norway in April 1940, SKP took a neutralist stand. In an article in Ny Dag, the German take-over in Norway was described as a "set-back for British imperialism".
Following orders by the German legation in Stockholm, several repressive measures were taken by the Swedish government against the party. The main publications were effectively banned (they were banned from transportation, meaning it was illegal to carry the SKP newspapers by any form of vehicle). Key cadres of the party and youth league were detained in camps, officially as a part of their military service. In total, 3500 persons were interned at ten different camps, the great majority of them were communists.Many party activists went underground, including the party chairman. A complete ban on the party was discussed in government circles, but never became effective.
In 1940, the office of the regional party organ in Norrbotten, Norrskensflamman , was bombed. Five people, including two children, were killed. This constitutes the deadliest terrorist act committed in Sweden in the 1900s. One of the financial supporters of the group behind the attack, Paul Wretlind, was a regional leader of the Liberal Party in Stockholm.
During the war, the largest co-ordinated police action in Swedish history took place against the party. 3,000 policemen took part in raids on party offices and homes of party members all over the country. However, the raids failed to produce any evidence of any criminal activity of the party.
The party actively supported resistance struggles in Norway and Denmark. In northern Sweden, party-affiliated workers stole dynamite from mines, and smuggled them to the Norwegian resistance. In other parts, the party gave shelter to anti-fascist refugees.
As the military fortunes of the Third Reich turned sour, the party regained a strong position in Swedish politics. In the parliamentary elections of 1944, SKP got 10.3% of the votes.
In 1945, there was a nationwide metal workers' strike, led by SKP.
In the 1946 municipal elections, SKP got 11.2% of the votes. Party membership reached its historical peak, 51,000. These developments, along with developments in the international arena and new Soviet policies of peaceful co-existence, led the party to initiate a re-adjustment of its role in Swedish politics. The electoral gains strengthened the perception that the party would be able to come to power within the parliamentary framework. Likewise, the idea of a "united front" with the Social Democrats gained ground in the inner-party debate. The trade union policy of the party was changed towards a less conflictive position towards the Social Democracy within the trade union movement. These changes met with some resistance in the party ranks.
However, the onset of the Cold War became a difficult challenge to the party. The electoral gains of the post-war years would not last long. The prime minister Tage Erlander declared the intention to turn "every trade union into a battlefield against the communists".Communists were purged from the trade union movement. However, the party continued its development of the united front strategy.
In the 1952 parliamentary by-elections in Jämtland and Kristianstad, the party decided to withdraw its lists, in order to ensure that the Social Democrats would not lose the elections. The party leadership argued that communists had to make an effort to "ensure a labour majority in the Riksdag". Moreover, the two concerned counties were electoral districts where it was highly unlikely that any communist MP would be elected. However, the leftist minority within the party (led by Set Persson) saw the new line as a capitulation to the Social Democrats.
Another issue concerned the youth league. The party took an initiative to create a broad-based youth movement, looking at similar developments in countries like Finland. In 1952, Democratic Youth (Demokratisk Ungdom [dɛmʊˈkrɑ̌ːtɪsk ˈɵ̂ŋdʊm] ( listen )) was founded as a broad youth movement, parallel to the existing Young Communist League of Sweden. The hard-liners saw this as diluting the political character of the youth movement.
An issue of high symbolic importance was the decision of the party to promote joint May Day rallies with the Social Democrats. Yet another issue was the decision of the party to give financial support to the "labour press", which was essentially in the hands of the Social Democrats.
In March 1951, Hilding Hagberg became party chairman.
The intra-party polemic reached its peak at the 1953 party congress. Persson fiercely exposed his criticism, particularly towards the new party chairman Hagberg, whom he branded as an opportunist. Persson was in turn accused of being an egoist, and of wanting to divide and damage the party. Criticism was delivered towards Persson by Knut Senander and Nils Holmberg, who said that Persson had to be held accountable for lack of political orientation and anti-party actions. Both Senander and Holmberg were considered as being part of the leftist section of the party, but on this occasion they appeared as the most firebrand defenders of the party line. Only a handful of delegates defended Persson, and those who did clearly highlighted that they did not fully share Persson's critique of the line of the party leadership. In a highly emotional conclusion of the debate, Persson declared his resignation from the party in a speech to the congress. After his departure a purge was carried out against Persson's followers within the party, out of whom several were expelled.
When Joseph Stalin died the same year, the party organized a memorial function, which was addressed by C.-H. Hermansson.
When the Hungarian revolt broke out in 1956, internal party debate surged on what stand the party should take. In the end, the party leadership chose to support the official Soviet line.
In 1961, leading party members founded the travel agency Folkturist, which specialized in tours to Eastern Europe.
In 1964, C.-H. Hermansson was elected party chairman. Hermansson came from an academic background, unlike previous party leaders. Hermansson initiated a change in the political direction of the party towards Eurocommunism and Nordic Popular socialism.
Ahead of the 1967 party congress, a heated debate took place. Several distinct tendencies were present. One section wanted to transform the party into a non-communist party, on the lines of the Danish Socialist People's Party (SF), and thus proposed that the party should change its name to Vänsterpartiet ("Left Party"). Another section, largely based amongst the trade union cadre of the party, wanted to maintain the communist character of the party and the fraternal bond to the CPSU. The former party leader Hagberg, who was associated with the pro-Soviet grouping, tried to launch the name Arbetets Parti (pronounced [ˈârːbeːtɛts paˈʈiː] ( listen ); "Party of Labour"), as a compromise. The party leadership came up with another compromise, and the party name was changed to Left Party – the Communists (VPK). VPK continued on the Eurocommunist course, but with a loud pro-Soviet minority grouped around Norrskensflamman. In addition, there was a small pro-Chinese group led by Bo Gustafsson and Nils Holmberg, that left the party to form Communist Party of Sweden (Kommunistiska Förbundet Marxist-Leninisterna; KFML) at the time of the congress. The youth wing broke away, eventually forming Marxist-Leninistiska Kampförbundet (MLK).
In 1968, VPK was the first Swedish party to publicly condemn the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia. The party organized a demonstration outside the Soviet embassy in Stockholm, which was addressed by Hermansson. This disapproval of Soviet aggression was an exception among the Western communist parties. The party line on Czechoslovakia irritated the pro-Soviet minority.
In the municipal elections of 1968, VPK received 3,8% of the votes, the lowest electoral result of the party in the post-war era. Lacking a functioning youth and students wing, the party was unable to capitalize on the international surge of youth radicalism.
At the onset of protests against the U.S. war in Vietnam, VPK launched the Swedish Vietnam Committee. The Committee raised the demand 'Peace in Vietnam' and appealed for all-party unity on the issue. The Committee was rapidly out-manoeuvered by the United FNL Groups (DFFG), an organization led by KFML that was actively supporting the armed struggle of the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam. Soon, VPK left the Swedish Vietnam Committee and many members became active in DFFG.
In 1970, the youth wing was refounded as Kommunistisk Ungdom (pronounced [kɔmɵˈnɪ̌sːtɪsk ˈɵ̂ŋdʊm] ( listen ); KU).
In 1972, the party shifted towards a more leftist position with the adaptation of a new party programme. The neo-Leninist tendency emerged as an important section of the party.
In 1975, Lars Werner was elected party chairman. The runner-up candidate was Rolf Hagel of the pro-Soviet group. Werner was elected with 162 votes at the party congress. Hagel got 74 votes.
In February 1977, the pro-Soviet minority left the party, and founded the Workers' Party – Communists (APK). The founder of APK took with them the newspaper Norrskensflamman and two MPs (Hagel and Alf Löwenborg). Between 1,500–2,000 VPK members joined APK.
In 1980, VPK was active in the "No"-campaign in the plebiscite on nuclear power.
In 1990, VPK changed its name to Vänsterpartiet ((v), Left Party) and ceased to be a communist party.
In 1993, Werner resigned. Gudrun Schyman was elected party chairman.
In the 1994 parliamentary elections, the party received 6.2% of the votes. The prolonged electoral crisis of the party was thus ended. The influence of the party started to grow, especially amongst the youth. In the same year, the party was active in the "No"-campaign in the plebiscite on joining the European Union.
Having passed through a period of severe crisis, the party began to regain public support during the mid-1990s. In retrospect, the main factor behind this shift was not caused by the party itself, but by the fact that the Social Democrats had moved considerably towards the right during the preceding years, which had alienated much of its traditional votebank.
At the 1996 party congress, the Left Party declared itself to be feminist.
In 1998, the party obtained its best-ever result in a parliamentary election, getting 12% of the votes nationwide. Following the elections, the party entered into an arrangement with the Social Democrats, and started to support the government from outside.
In the 2002 parliamentary elections, the voteshare of the party dropped by 3% to a total of 8.3%. Simultaneously, the Social Democrats regained 3%.
In 2003, Schyman resigned following tax irregularities. Ulla Hoffmann took over as interim leader.
The 2004 party congress elected Lars Ohly as the new party chairman. In the end of the year, Schyman left the party, becoming a parliamentary independent. Lars Ohly originally called himself a communist, but retracted that statement later.
In the same year, a two-part documentary on the party was broadcast on the SVT show Uppdrag Granskning . The documentary focused mainly on the international relations of the party during the post-war era. Following the broadcast, debate surged once again concerning the relations of the party with the ruling parties in the former Socialist Bloc.
In the September 2006 election, the Left Party got 317,228 votes (5.8%; in 2002: 8.4%), and therefore 22 Riksdag seats (previously 30). In the 2010 election, the party got 5.6% of the votes (334,053 votes) and 19 seats.
On 7 December 2008, the Social Democrats launched a political and electoral alliance known as the Red-Greens together with the Left Party and Green Party.
The parties contested the 2010 general election on a joint manifesto, but lost the election to the incumbent centre-right coalition The Alliance. On 26 November 2010, the Red-Green alliance was dissolved.
On 6 January 2012, the party congress elected Jonas Sjöstedt as the new party chairman since Ohly had announced his resignation.
On 31 October 2020, the party elected Nooshi Dadgostar as party leader following the retirement of Sjöstedt.
On 15 June 2021, the party withdrew its support for the coalition government after a disagreement on rent controls
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2019)
The party opposes further liberalization of the Employment Protection Act and vowed to initiate a vote of no confidence against the Löfven II Cabinet if they were to attempt such a liberalization.
The Left Party claims that Sweden does not have social equality in regard to gender. The party thus advocates the creation of a specific Minister of Social Equality, as well as to introduce the teaching of "feminist self-defence" in high schools.Feminism as a concept was introduced in the party program in 1997, but it believes that it has always worked to strengthen women's rights. Feminist theory has grown into the party since the 1960s, when the women's movement gained a theoretical basis beyond Marxism. The Left Party opposes prostitution, and supports the current ban on purchasing sex.
The party supports a generous but regulated immigration policy, granting refugees permanent residency and prioritizing family reunification.A strong welfare system and the uniting of families is necessary for refugees to be able to integrate in society, according to the Left Party.
In regards to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the party supports a two-state solution based on the 1967 border. The party calls for the freezing of EU trade agreements with Israel, ending Swedish military co-operation and arms trade with Israel, and a general consumer boycott of Israeli goods to put pressure on Israel.
In February 2019, the party dropped a long-held policy that Sweden should leave the European Union.
The Left Party advocates for the abolition of the Swedish monarchy, instead favoring republicanism.
During its history, there has been several splits of various significance:
Percentage of votes by year:
11 / 230
7 / 230
7 / 230
4 / 230
8 / 230
2 / 230
5 / 230
3 / 230
15 / 230
8 / 230
6 / 230
6 / 231
5 / 231
5 / 232
8 / 233
3 / 233
17 / 350
19 / 350
17 / 349
20 / 349
20 / 349
19 / 349
21 / 349
16 / 349
22 / 349
43 / 349
30 / 349
22 / 349
19 / 349
21 / 349
28 / 349
with other arrangements
3 / 22
3 / 22
2 / 19
1 / 18
1 / 20
1 / 20
The Communist Party of Finland was a communist political party in Finland. The SKP was a section of Comintern and illegal in Finland until 1944.
Young Left is a socialist, Marxist, and feminist youth organisation. It is the official youth wing of the Swedish Left Party. The organisation calls themselves a "revolutionary youth organisation with roots in the communist part of the labour movement, anchored in the women's movement and influenced by the environmental- and peace movement."
Kommunistiska Förbundet Marxist-Leninisterna was formed at the 1967 party congress of VPK, when a pro-Chinese group left the party.
Communist Workers' Party of Sweden, initially called SKP (ml), was a communist party in Sweden, formed in 1980 after a split from the pro-People's Republic of China Communist Party of Sweden (SKP). The party was dissolved in 1993.
Social Democratic Left Party of Sweden was a political party formed in 1921 after a split from the original SSV.
Marxist-Leninistiska Kampförbundet, full name Marxist-leninistiska kampförbundet för Sveriges kommunistiska parti, was a communist political organization in Sweden formed in 1970 by Vänsterns Ungdomsförbund, the youth organization of VPK. Within VUF several ultraleftist tendencies had surged during the 1960s, orientating it toward Maoism. VUF broke with VPK in 1968, and in 1970 they formed MLK. MLK was ideologically almost identical with the larger KFML/SKP, with Marxism–Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought as the ideological backbone. MLK supported KFML/SKP in elections.
The name Communist Party of Sweden has been used by several political parties in Sweden:
The Communist Party of Sweden is the continuation of Workers' Party – The Communists.
Arbetarkommun alt. Arbetarekommun is the municipal unit of Sveriges Socialdemokratiska Arbetareparti. An arbetarkommun consists of several base level party units, workplace units, etc.
The Socialist Party, was a political party in Sweden active from 1929 to 1948. Led by Karl Kilbom and Nils Flyg, the party was founded in 1929 as a splinter group of the Communist Party of Sweden. Until 1934, the splinter group used the same name Communist Party of Sweden, so in order to keep the two factions apart, this faction was generally known as Kilbommare ("Kilbomians") while those who stayed in the old party were known as Sillénare.
Lars Helge Werner was a Swedish socialist politician.
Nils Svante Flyg was a Swedish Communist politician who turned pro-Nazi during World War II.
Ture Nerman was a Swedish socialist. As a journalist and author, he was a well-known political activist in his time. He also wrote poems and songs.
Communist Party of Sweden was a political party in Sweden led by Zeth Höglund. Höglund broke away from the main SKP in 1924, following disagreements concerning Comintern policies and functioning. He then set up his own SKP. Höglund's SKP had around 5,000 members, and published the newspaper Den Nya Politiken.
Set Persson was a Swedish communist leader.
Nils Gösta Holmberg was a communist leader in Sweden. He was born on 23 December 1902 in Stockholm. Holmberg was a member of the Young Communist League of Sweden (SKU) from 1926 to 1929. He was a member of the executive committee of SKU. Later on, he became a leading member of the mother party, the Communist Party of Sweden (SKP). In 1933 he was inducted into the Central Committee of the party, a position he held until 1956.
Carl Winberg, was a Swedish communist politician and newspaper editor.
The Red-Greens is an umbrella term which refers to the three centre-left to left-wing political parties of Sweden; the Social Democrats, the Left Party and the Green Party.
Ny Dag was a Swedish communist newspaper and the main publication of the Communist Party of Sweden from 2 January 1930 to 5 August 1990, when publication stopped.
When the Left Social Democratic Party changed its name to Communist Party of Sweden at its fourth congress in 1921, he remained in its ranks.
520 Swedes joined the International Brigades in Spain and 164--almost a third--died there.
Upon his return, at the fifteenth party congress in March 1951, he surrendered the party presidency to Hilding Hagberg...