Prime Minister of Sweden

Last updated

Prime Minister of Sweden
Sveriges statsminister
Great coat of arms of Sweden (without mantle).svg
Flag of Sweden.svg
Ulf Kristersson January 2023.jpg
Ulf Kristersson
since 18 October 2022
Executive branch of the Swedish Government
Style Mister Prime Minister
(Swedish: Herr Statsminister)
His Excellency
Type Head of government
Member of
Reports to Riksdag
Residence Sager House
Seat Rosenbad, Stockholm, Sweden
Nominator Riksdag
Appointer Speaker
Term length 4 years
Constituting instrument 1974 Instrument of Government
Formation20 March 1876;147 years ago (1876-03-20)
First holder Louis Gerhard De Geer
Succession Line of succession
Deputy Deputy Prime Minister
Salary2,112,000 kr/US$ 203,076 annually
Website Prime Minister's Office
Title in Swedish:
Herr Stadsminister

The prime ministerof Sweden (Swedish : statsminister [ˈstâtsmɪˌnɪstɛr] ; literally translating to "minister of state") is the head of government of Sweden. The prime minister and their cabinet (the government) exercise executive authority in the Kingdom of Sweden and are subject to the Parliament of Sweden. The prime minister is nominated by the speaker of the Riksdag and is elected by the chamber by simple majority, using negative parliamentarianism. The Riksdag holds elections every four years, in the even year between leap years. [1]


As with several other similar offices in Europe, the office of Prime Minister came into existence in the nineteenth century as a result of Sweden's democratisation. Prior to the creation of the office, Sweden had no official head of government separate from the king; the country in periods was an absolute monarchy. However, several figures had formerly attained de facto status as leader of the government. Today, the prime minister holds the most influential political role in Sweden. [2]

Unlike most prime ministers in parliamentary systems, the prime minister is both de jure and de facto chief executive. This is because the Instrument of Government explicitly vests executive power in the government, of which the prime minister is the leader. The prime minister has two official residences; these are the Sager House and Harpsund. [3]


Historically, the monarchy of Sweden served as both head of state and head of government. Examples like Kings Gustav I, Charles XI, and Gustav III showcase how the Swedish government was structured around the monarchy. However, many of these kings had powerful domestic advisors who sometimes took on the role of de facto head of government; the most prominent of these examples is Axel Oxenstierna, who played a pivotal role in the formation of the Swedish Empire. The office of Lord High Chancellor was commonly the closest role to a de jure head of government, and they had similar responsibilities to the modern Prime Minister during the so-called Age of Liberty; no governmental offices were called Prime Minister at the time.

At the adoption of the new Instrument of Government of 1809, the two offices of Prime Minister for Justice (Swedish : justitiestatsminister) and Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs (Swedish : utrikesstatsminister) were created, though their roles were no more than just the heads of their respective ministries. When the office of the prime minister was created in 1876, the prime ministers for justice and foreign affairs were thus subsequently demoted to Minister for Justice and Minister for Foreign Affairs. Unlike the minister for justice, the minister for foreign affairs did, however, continue to be styled as "Excellency", an honour shared only with the prime minister. [4] [5] After 1917, it was no longer possible for a monarch to appoint the prime minister and the councillors of state (cabinet ministers) at their own discretion, or keep them in office against the will of the Riksdag. [6] From that time onward, while the king still formally appointed the prime minister, in practice he was required to appoint the leader of the majority party in the Riksdag, or the leader of the senior partner in the majority coalition. While the provision in the Instrument of Government stating that "the King alone shall govern the realm" remained unchanged, it was now understood that the king was required to exercise his powers through the ministers and act on their advice. Over time, the ministers came to de facto exercise the royal prerogatives. However, the Swedish term used for the government during this period was still Kungl. Maj:t, an abbreviation of Kunglig Majestät 'Royal Majesty'.

Until 1974, the executive authority in Sweden had been exercised through the King in Council. Constitutional reform provided a new Instrument of Government which de jure established the parliamentary system and created a cabinet government with constitutional powers not derived from the Crown. At the same time, it stripped the monarchy of even nominal political powers, making the cabinet the country's executive authority in both name and in fact. This codified a number of practices dating from the definitive establishment of parliamentary government in 1917.


The Instrument of Government requires that the prime minister appoint a member of the cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister, to perform the duties of the prime minister if the prime minister cannot. However, if a deputy prime minister is absent or has not been appointed, the senior minister in the cabinet becomes acting head of government. If more than one minister has equal tenure, the eldest assumes the position (see Swedish governmental line of succession for the present governmental line of succession).

Constitutionally, the prime minister's position is stronger than that of his or her counterparts in Denmark and Norway. Since 1975, the prime minister has been both de jure and de facto chief executive, with powers and duties specifically enumerated in the Instrument of Government. In the two neighboring Scandinavian monarchies, the monarch is the nominal chief executive, but is bound by convention to act on the advice of the ministers. However, the so-called Torekov Compromise reached in 1971 by the major political parties, codified with the Instrument of Government that went into effect in 1975, stripped the Swedish monarch of even a nominal role in governmental affairs, thus codifying actual practices that had been in place since the definitive establishment of parliamentary government in 1917.



To appoint a new prime minister, the speaker of the Riksdag holds consultations with party leaders to propose a candidate to be submitted for approval to the Riksdag. [7]

The speaker's proposed candidate is then elected through negative parliamentarism. In practice, this means that the prime minister nominee is confirmed if fewer than 175 MPs vote 'no', regardless of the number of 'yes' votes or abstentions. [8] This is described as being "tolerated" by a majority of the Riksdag. [9]

After approval by the Riksdag, the new prime minister-designate must inform the Riksdag which ministers are chosen to make up the new government.

The formal change of government, and thus the start of the term for the new prime minister takes place at a Council of State at the Royal Palace. This is a government meeting chaired by the king, currently Carl XVI Gustaf. During this meeting, the speaker gives an account of the nomination and election process. The king then announces that a change of government has taken place, finalising the appointment of the new prime minister and their government. [10]


Whenever a prime minister resigns, dies, or is forced from office by the Riksdag, the speaker of the Riksdag asks the prime minister (or their deputy) to keep the government as a caretaker government until the new government takes office. [10]

With the exception of the prime minister, cabinet ministers (Swedish : statsråd [ˈstatsroːd] ) do not need the approval of the Riksdag, but they can be forced to resign by a vote of no confidence. [11] If the prime minister is forced by a vote of no confidence to resign, the entire cabinet falls, and the process of electing a new prime minister starts. The prime minister can dissolve the Riksdag, even after receiving a vote of no confidence, except during the first three months after an election. [10]


Office and residences

The government offices, including the prime minister's office, are located at Rosenbad in central Stockholm, straight across the water from the Riksdag building on Helgeandsholmen.

In 1991 Sager House (or the "Sager Palace" as it was previously called) was acquired, and since 1995 it has served as the private residence of the prime minister.

Harpsund, a manor house in Flen Municipality, Södermanland County, has served as a country residence for the prime minister since 1953. The manor is also frequently used for governmental conferences and informal summits between the government, industry and organisations in Sweden.


The salaries of the cabinet ministers, including the prime minister, is decided by and is the subject of annual review by the Statsrådsarvodesnämnden 'Cabinet Ministers' Salary Committee' of the Riksdag. Since 1 January 2022 the prime minister's monthly salary is 184,000 SEK. [12]

Office and residences

See also

Related Research Articles

The head of government is the highest or the second-highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. In diplomacy, "head of government" is differentiated from "head of state".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Politics of Sweden</span> Political system of Sweden

The politics of Sweden take place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy. Executive power is exercised by the government, led by the prime minister of Sweden. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament, elected within a multi-party system. The judiciary is independent, appointed by the government and employed until retirement. Sweden is formally a monarchy with a monarch holding symbolic power.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Basic Laws of Sweden</span> Constitutional law of Sweden

The Basic Laws of Sweden are the four constitutional laws of the Kingdom of Sweden that regulate the Swedish political system, acting in a similar manner to the constitutions of most countries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Riksdag</span> Supreme legislative body of Sweden

The Riksdag is the legislature and the supreme decision-making body of Sweden. Since 1971, the Riksdag has been a unicameral legislature with 349 members, elected proportionally and serving, since 1994, fixed four-year terms. The 2022 Swedish general election is the most recent general election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Riksdag</span>

The Riksdag is the national legislature of Sweden. However, when it was founded in 1866 Sweden did not have a parliamentary system of government.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monarchy of Sweden</span> Royal institution of Sweden

The monarchy of Sweden is centred on the monarchical head of state of Sweden, by law a constitutional and hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary system. There have been kings in what now is the Kingdom of Sweden for more than a millennium. Originally an elective monarchy, it became a hereditary monarchy in the 16th century during the reign of Gustav Vasa, though virtually all monarchs before that belonged to a limited and small number of political families which are considered to be the royal dynasties of Sweden.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Instrument of Government (1809)</span> One of the Four Basic Laws of the Swedish constitution

The 1809 Instrument of Government, adopted on 6 June 1809 by the Riksdag of the Estates and King Charles XIII, was the constitution of the Kingdom of Sweden from 1809 to the end of 1974. It came about as a result of the Coup of 1809, in which King Gustav IV Adolf was deposed. The promulgation of the constitution marks the point at which Sweden transitioned from the absolute monarchy of the Gustavian era into a stable, constitutional monarchy adhering to the rule of law and significant civil liberties.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sager House</span> Building in Stockholm, Sweden

The Sager House or Sager Palace is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Sweden, located at Strömgatan 18 in central Stockholm.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rosenbad</span> Building used for the Swedish Government Offices, Stockholm, Sweden

Rosenbad is a building in central Stockholm, precinct of Norrmalm. It is a building owned by the Swedish State and serves as the seat of the Government. The present government of Sweden is the right-leaning Kristersson Cabinet.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Speaker of the Riksdag</span> Presiding officer of Swedish legislature

The speaker of the Riksdag is the presiding officer of the national unicameral legislature in Sweden.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ulf Kristersson</span> Prime Minister of Sweden since 2022

Ulf Hjalmar Ed Kristersson is a Swedish politician who has been serving as Prime Minister of Sweden since 2022. He has been the leader of the Moderate Party (M) since October 2017 and a member of the Riksdag (MP) for Södermanland County since 2014 and for Stockholm County from 1991 to 2000. He previously served as Minister for Social Security from 2010 to 2014 and as Chairman of the Moderate Youth League from 1988 to 1992.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thage G. Peterson</span> Swedish politician

Thage Edvin Gerhard Peterson is a Swedish politician.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden</span> Deputy head of government of Sweden

The deputy prime minister of Sweden is the deputy head of government of Sweden. The incumbent deputy prime minister is Ebba Busch.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2018 Swedish general election</span>

General elections were held in Sweden on 9 September 2018 to elect the 349 members of the Riksdag. Regional and municipal elections were also held on the same day. The incumbent minority government, consisting of the Social Democrats and the Greens and supported by the Left Party, won 144 seats, one seat more than the four-party Alliance coalition, with the Sweden Democrats winning the remaining 62 seats. The Social Democrats' vote share fell to 28.3 percent, its lowest level of support since 1911.

The Government of the Kingdom of Sweden is the national cabinet of Sweden, and the country's executive authority.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2022 Swedish general election</span>

General elections were held in Sweden on 11 September 2022 to elect the 349 members of the Riksdag who in turn elected the Prime Minister of Sweden. Under the constitution, regional and municipal elections were also held on the same day. The preliminary results presented on 15 September showed the government parties lost their majority, which were confirmed by the final results published on 17 September. After a month of negotiations following the elections that led to the Tidö Agreement among the right-wing bloc, Moderate Party (M) leader Ulf Kristersson was elected Prime Minister on 17 October. The Kristersson Cabinet is a minority government that relies on confidence and supply from the Sweden Democrats (SD).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jessika Roswall</span> Swedish politician

Jessika Roswall is a Swedish politician of the Moderate Party. She has served as Minister for European Union Affairs and Minister for Nordic Cooperation in the cabinet of Ulf Kristersson since 2022 and has been Member of the Riksdag since the 2010 general election, representing Uppsala County.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2021 Swedish government crisis</span> Government crisis in Sweden

A government crisis began on 21 June 2021 in Sweden after the Riksdag ousted Prime Minister Stefan Löfven with a no-confidence vote. This was the first time in Swedish history a Prime Minister was ousted by a no-confidence vote. After winning the 2014 Swedish general election, the Löfven II Cabinet's government budget was rejected by the Riksdag, causing a government crisis that lasted for nearly a month. The 2021 government crisis was the second government crisis suffered by a Löfven cabinet. The vote was called on 17 June 2021 by the Sweden Democrats after the Swedish Left Party withdrew support for Löfven over rent control reform, which is an important issue for many voters.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Löfven III cabinet</span>

The third cabinet of Stefan Löfven was the Government of Sweden during 9 July 2021 to 30 November 2021. It was a coalition, consisting of two parties: the Social Democrats and the Green Party. The cabinet was installed on 9 July 2021, during a formal government meeting with King Carl XVI Gustaf. The government was the result of the aftermath of the 2021 government crisis, which saw Löfven's government removed from power in a vote of no-confidence over proposed reforms to liberalize the rent control system.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andersson cabinet</span> 56th Cabinet of Sweden

The Andersson Cabinet was the Government of Sweden following the resignation of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the hasty election of Magdalena Andersson as his successor. It was expected to be a coalition government consisting of two parties: the Swedish Social Democratic Party and the Green Party. In a late turn of events after the confirmation vote, the Green Party left the government cooperation due to the government's budget proposal failing in the Riksdag. The cabinet were originally planned to be installed on 26 November 2021 during a formal government meeting with King Carl XVI Gustaf, but Andersson decided to resign due to a precedent regarding changes in a government's composition; this happened just seven hours after the vote in the Riksdag. The Speaker then set Andersson up for a new confirmation vote to make sure she still had the Riksdag's approval.


  1. "Start". Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  2. Regeringskansliet, Regeringen och (24 November 2014). "Prime Minister's Office". Regeringskansliet. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  3. Burcher, Priscilla (27 August 2018), Sager House, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Sweden , retrieved 10 November 2023
  4. Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish). Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell. 1915. p. 66 via Project Runeberg.
  5. Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish). Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell. 1964. p. 57 via Project Runeberg.
  6. Lewin, Leif (1 May 2007). "Majoritarian and Consensus Democracy: the Swedish Experience". Scandinavian Political Studies. 21 (3): 195–206. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9477.1998.tb00012.x.
  7. "Forming a government". Sveriges Riksdag. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  8. "Så bildas regeringen". Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). 5 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  9. "The Constitution of Sweden - The Fundamental Laws and the Riksdag Act" (PDF). Sveriges Riksdag . Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  10. 1 2 3 Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Forming a government". Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  11. Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Examines the work of the Government". Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  12. "Statsrådsarvoden och ersättningar" (in Swedish). Government of Sweden. 1 July 2019.