Prime Minister of Sweden

Last updated
Prime Minister of Sweden
Sveriges statsminister
Lilla riksvapnet - Riksarkivet Sverige.png
Flag of Sweden.svg
State flag
Stefan Lofven efter slutdebatten i SVT 2014 (cropped).jpg
Stefan Löfven

since 3 October 2014
Style His/Her excellency
was used up to the 1970s in Sweden; but is still used in diplomatic writing [1]
Member ofThe Government
European Council
Reports toThe Riksdag
Residence Sager House
Seat Rosenbad, Stockholm, Sweden
NominatorThe Speaker of the Riksdag
following consultations with the party leaders in the Riksdag
AppointerThe Speaker of the Riksdag
following a vote in the Riksdag
Term length No term limit
serves as long as the incumbent has majority support in the Riksdag
Constituting instrument 1974 Instrument of Government
Inaugural holder Louis Gerhard De Geer
Formation20 March 1876
Deputy Deputy to the Prime Minister
Salaryannual: 2,064,000 SEK [2]
197,532 / $230,926 / £174,868
(1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019)
Coat of arms of Sweden.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Foreign relations

The Prime Minister (Swedish : statsminister, literally "Minister of the State") is the head of government in Sweden. Before the creation of the office of a Prime Minister in 1876, Sweden did not have a head of government separate from its head of state, namely the King, in whom the executive authority was vested. Louis Gerhard De Geer, the architect behind the new bicameral Riksdag of 1866 that replaced the centuries-old Riksdag of the Estates, became the first officeholder in 1876.

Swedish language North Germanic language spoken in Sweden

Swedish is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden, and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to some extent with Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. Both Norwegian and Danish are generally easier for Swedish speakers to read than to listen to because of difference in accent and tone when speaking. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It has the most speakers of the North Germanic languages.

Head of government is a generic term used for either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. The term "head of government" is often differentiated from the term "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.5 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.


The current Prime Minister of Sweden is Stefan Löfven, leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party [3] who was chosen for a second term on 18 January 2019 [4] , even after having been ousted following the general elections on 9 September 2018. [5]

Stefan Löfven Current Swedish Prime Minister

Kjell Stefan Löfven is a Swedish politician serving as Prime Minister of Sweden since 2014, and Leader of the Social Democratic Party since 2012.

The Swedish Social Democratic Party, contesting elections as the Arbetarepartiet–Socialdemokraterna and usually referred to just as the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterna), is the oldest and largest political party in Sweden. The current party leader since 2012 is Stefan Löfven, who has also been Prime Minister of Sweden since 2014.


Before 1876, when the office of a single prime minister was created, Sweden did not have a head of government separate from the King. Historically though, the most senior member of the Privy Council (during the absolute rule this was the Lord High Chancellor) had certain similarities to the office of a head of government. This was most evident during the so-called Age of Liberty from 1718 to 1772, when powers of the Monarch were greatly reduced and the President of the Privy Council became the most powerful political figure in Sweden.

Prime minister most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system

A Prime Minister is the head of a cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. A prime minister is not a head of state or chief executive officer of their respective nation, rather they are a head of government, serving typically under a monarch in a hybrid of aristocratic and democratic government forms.

Monarchy of Sweden Rulers of Sweden

The Monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden, which is a constitutional and hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary system. The Kingdom of Sweden has been a monarchy since time immemorial. Originally an elective monarchy, it became an 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 families which are considered to be the royal dynasties of Sweden.

Privy Council of Sweden Cabinet of medieval origin consisting of magnates (Swedish: stormän) which advised, and at times co-ruled, with the King of Sweden

The Council of the Realm, or simply The Council, was a cabinet of medieval origin, consisting of magnates which advised, and at times co-ruled with, the King of Sweden.

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. [6] [7] From 1917, parliamentarian principles were definitively established in Sweden and the Monarch ceased to exercise their constitutional authority to appoint the Prime Minister and the Councillors of State (cabinet ministers) at their own discretion. From that time onward, the Prime Minister depended on the support of a majority in the Riksdag. Over time, the Prime Minister came to de facto exercise the Royal prerogatives. However, the Swedish term used for the Government during this period, still was Kungl. Maj:t, an abbreviation of Kunglig Majestät (English: Royal Majesty).

Instrument of Government (1809)

The Instrument of Government adopted on 6 June 1809 by the Riksdag of the Estates and King Charles XIII was one of the fundamental laws that made up the constitution of Sweden from 1809 to the end of 1974.

Minister for Justice (Sweden) Swedish cabinet minister

The Minister for Justice is the justice minister of Sweden and head of the Ministry of Justice. The current Minister for Justice is Morgan Johansson of the Social Democratic Party.

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Sweden) head of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Sweden

The Minister for Foreign Affairs is the foreign minister of Sweden and the head of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

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.

King in Council (Sweden)

King in Council, or Royal Majesty, was a term of constitutional importance that was used in Sweden before 1975 when the 1974 Instrument of Government came into force.

Constitution Set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed

A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity, and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed.

In law and government, de jure describes practices that are legally recognised, regardless whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, de facto describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally recognised. The terms are often used to contrast different scenarios: for a colloquial example, "I know that, de jure, this is supposed to be a parking lot, but now that the flood has left four feet of water here, it's a de facto swimming pool". To further explain, even if the signs around the flooded parking lot say "Parking Lot" it is "in fact" a swimming pool.

List of Prime Ministers

Living former Prime Ministers

Ingvar Carlsson Swedish 20th century prime minister

Gösta Ingvar Carlsson is a Swedish politician who twice served as Prime Minister of Sweden, first from 1986 to 1991 and again from 1994 to 1996. He was leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1986 to 1996. He is best known for leading Sweden into the European Union.

Carl Bildt Swedish politician, prime minister between 1991-1994, foreign minister between 2006-2014

Nils Daniel Carl Bildt is a Swedish politician and diplomat who was Prime Minister of Sweden from 1991 to 1994. He was the leader of the Moderate Party from 1986 to 1999. Bildt served as Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs from October 2006 to October 2014.

Göran Persson Swedish politician, Swedish Social Democratic Party, thirty-second Prime minister of Sweden

Hans Göran Persson served as Prime Minister of Sweden from 1996 to 2006 and was leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1996 to 2007.


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 a successor has been elected. The Speaker then holds consultations with the party leaders and appoints a Prime Minister-designate, who is submitted for approval to the Riksdag. If the Prime Minister-designate is approved, the Prime Minister chooses which and how many ministers are to be included in the government. [8]

With the exception of the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers (Swedish : statsråd) do not need the approval of the Riksdag, but they can be forced to resign by a vote of no confidence. 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.

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 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.


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 July 2018 the Prime Minister's monthly salary is 172,000 SEK (16,461 / $19,244 / £14,572) or 2,064,000 SEK (€197,532 / $230,926 / £174,868) per year. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

Politics of Sweden takes 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 a monarchy.

Riksdag Legislative body of Sweden

The Riksdag is the national 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, from 1994 onwards, on fixed four-year terms.

Louis Gerhard De Geer Swedish 19th century prime minister

Baron Louis Gerard De Geer of Finspång was a Swedish statesman and writer. He was born at Finspång Castle in Risinge parish. He was a lawyer, and in 1855 became president of the Göta hovrätt, or lord justice for the appellate court of Götaland. From 7 April 1858 to 3 June 1870 he was Prime Minister for Justice and again from 11 May 1875 to 20 March 1876. As a member of the nobility, he took part in the Swedish Riksdag of the Estates from 1851 onwards. From 1867 to 1878 he was the member for Stockholm in the first chamber in the New Riksdag, where he introduced and passed many useful reforms.

Sager House building in central Stockholm

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

Rosenbad 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.

Speaker of the Riksdag

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

Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden

The Swedish constitution allows the Prime Minister to appoint one of the Ministers in the cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister, in case the Prime Minister for some reason is prevented from performing his or her duties. If a Deputy Prime Minister has not been appointed, the Minister in the cabinet who has served the longest time takes over as head of government.

Anders Ygeman Swedish politician

Anders Ingvar Ygeman is a Swedish politician of the Social Democrats. He served as Minister for Home Affairs in the Swedish Government from 2014 to 2017. He has been a member of the Riksdag since 1996.

Andreas Norlén Swedish politician

Per Olof Andreas Norlén is a Swedish Moderate Party politician who has served as Speaker of the Riksdag since September 2018. He has been a Member of the Riksdag (MP) for Östergötland County since October 2006. Norlén has previously been a member of the Committee on the Constitution, 2014–2018 as chair of the committee.

2018 Swedish general election 2018 election for the Swedish parliament

General elections were held in Sweden on Sunday 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, although the main opposition, the Moderates, lost even more support. The Sweden Democrats made gains, though less than anticipated. The voter turnout of 87.18% was the highest in 33 years and 1.38 percentage points higher than the 2014 elections.

Mikael Damberg Swedish politician

Lars Mikael Damberg is a Swedish politician of the Social Democrats. He has been Minister for Home Affairs since 21 January 2019. He has been Member of the Riksdag since 2002, representing Stockholm County, and was leader of the Social Democrats in the Riksdag from 2012 to 2014.

2014 Swedish general election 2014 election for the Swedish parliament

General elections were held in Sweden on 14 September 2014 to elect all 349 seats in the Riksdag, alongside elections for the 21 county councils, and 290 municipal assemblies.

The Government of the Kingdom of Sweden is the national cabinet and the supreme executive authority of Sweden. The short-form name Regeringen is used both in the Fundamental Laws of the Realm and in the vernacular, while the long-form is only used in international treaties.

Löfven I Cabinet

The first cabinet of Stefan Löfven was the cabinet of Sweden between 2014 and 2018. It was a coalition government, consisting of two parties: the Social Democrats and the Green Party. The cabinet was installed on 3 October 2014, following the 2014 general election. It lost a vote of no confidence following the 2018 election, but remained in office as a caretaker government.

Anna Johansson (politician) Swedish politician

Anna Frida Wiktoria Johansson is a Swedish politician of the Social Democrats. She was the Minister for Infrastructure in the Swedish Government from 2014 to 2017.

2014 Swedish government crisis political crisis following the 2014 Swedish general election

The 2014 Swedish government crisis started on 3 December 2014 after the Riksdag rejected the proposed government budget in favour of a budget proposed by the centre-right opposition.

2022 Swedish general election 2022 election for the Swedish parliament

General elections will be held in Sweden on 11 September 2022 to elect the 349 members of the Riksdag. They in turn will elect the Prime Minister of Sweden. regional and municipal elections will also be held on the same day.

In the 2018 Swedish general election, no political group or party won an outright majority, resulting in a hung parliament. On 9 September, the Red-Greens, led by Stefan Löfven's Social Democrats (S), emerged as the main political force in the Riksdag, while the centre-right Alliance led by Ulf Kristersson's Moderate Party only got one seat less. The right-wing populist party Sweden Democrats, led by Jimmie Åkesson, came third. As a result, protracted negotiations were required before a new government could be formed. On 18 January 2019, Löfven was re-elected as prime minister.


  1. UN Protocol and Liaison Service Archived 16 November 2012 at WebCite
  2. 1 2 "Statsrådsarvoden och ersättningar (Swedish)".
  3. Swedish parliament confirms Social Democrats' Lofven as new PM. Reuters, 2 October 2014
  4. . official Twitter account, 18 January 2019
  5. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven ousted in no-confidence vote. The Local, September 25, 2018
  6. Sveriges statskalender 1915, Retrieved on 12 June 2013.(in Swedish)
  7. Sveriges statskalender 1964, Retrieved on 12 June 2013.(in Swedish)
  8. "Forming a government". Sveriges Riksdag. 2016-12-06. Retrieved 2018-03-24.