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Riksdag of Sweden

Sveriges riksdag
Riksdag logo.svg
Andreas Norlén, (M)
since 24 September 2018
Åsa Lindestam, (S)
since 24 September 2018
Lotta Johnsson Fornarve, (V)
since 24 September 2018
Kerstin Lundgren, (C)
since 24 September 2018
Tuve Skånberg, (KD)
since 1 January 2020
Sveriges riksdag 20210731.svg
Political groups
Government (100)
  •   Social Democrats (100)

Confidence and supply (75)

Opposition (174)

Party-list proportional representation
Sainte-Laguë method
See Elections in Sweden
Last election
9 September 2018
Next election
By 11 September 2022
Meeting place
Riksdag.ipred b9dn510 4451.jpg
Parliament House
Stockholm, 100 12

    The Riksdag (Swedish:  [ˈrɪ̌ksdɑː(ɡ)] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ), lit. transl."diet of the realm"; also Swedish : riksdagen [ˈrɪ̌ksdan] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ) or Sveriges riksdag [ˈsvæ̌rjɛs ˈrɪ̌ksdɑː(ɡ)] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is the national legislature and the supreme decision-making body of Sweden. Since 1971, the Riksdag has been a unicameral legislature with 349 members (riksdagsledamöter), elected proportionally and serving, from 1994 onwards, on fixed four-year terms. As of 2021, the 2018 Swedish general election is the most recent held general election.

    The constitutional functions of the Riksdag are enumerated in the Instrument of Government (Regeringsformen), and its internal workings are specified in greater detail in the Riksdag Act (Riksdagsordningen). [1] [2] The seat of the Riksdag is at Parliament House (Swedish : Riksdagshuset [ˈrɪ̂ksdɑː(ɡ)sˌhʉːsɛt] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), on the island of Helgeandsholmen in the central parts of Stockholm. The Riksdag has its institutional roots in the feudal Riksdag of the Estates, by tradition thought to have first assembled in Arboga in 1435, and in 1866 following reforms of the 1809 Instrument of Government that body was transformed into a bicameral legislature with an upper chamber ( Första Kammaren ) and a lower chamber ( Andra Kammaren ).


    The Old Parliament House on Riddarholmen was the seat of the Riksdag from 1833 to 1905. Riddarholmen 2006c.jpg
    The Old Parliament House on Riddarholmen was the seat of the Riksdag from 1833 to 1905.
    Kulturhuset at Sergels torg served as a temporary seat for the Riksdag, from 1971 to 1983, while the Riksdag building on Helgeandsholmen underwent renovation. Kulturhuset 2009.jpg
    Kulturhuset at Sergels torg served as a temporary seat for the Riksdag, from 1971 to 1983, while the Riksdag building on Helgeandsholmen underwent renovation.

    The Swedish word riksdag, in definite form riksdagen, is a general term for "parliament" or "assembly", but it is typically only used for Sweden's legislature and certain related institutions. [3] [4] [5] In addition to Sweden's parliament, it is also used for the Parliament of Finland and the Estonian Riigikogu, as well as the historical German Reichstag and the Danish Rigsdagen . [5] In Swedish use, riksdagen is usually uncapitalized. [6] Riksdag derives from the genitive of rike, referring to royal power, and dag, meaning diet or conference; the German word Reichstag and the Danish Rigsdag are cognate. [7] The Oxford English Dictionary traces English use of the term "Riksdag" in reference to the Swedish assembly back to 1855. [7]


    Historical distribution of seats in the Swedish Riksdag 1902-2018. Swedish Riksdag seat distribution 1902-2018.png
    Historical distribution of seats in the Swedish Riksdag 1902-2018.

    The roots of the modern Riksdag can be found in a 1435 meeting in the city of Arboga; however, only three of the estates were probably present the nobility, the clergy and the burghers. [8] This informal organization was modified in 1527 by the first modern Swedish king Gustav I Vasa to include representatives from all the four social estates: the nobility, the clergy, the burghers (property-owning commoners in the towns such as merchants etc.), and the yeomanry (freehold farmers). This form of Ständestaat representation lasted until 1866, when representation by estate was abolished and the modern bicameral parliament established. Effectively, however, it did not become a parliament in the modern sense until parliamentary principles were established in the political system in Sweden, in 1917.

    On 22 June 1866, the Riksdag decided to reconstitute itself as a bicameral legislature, consisting of Första kammaren or the First Chamber, with 155 members and Andra kammaren or the Second Chamber with 233 members. The First Chamber was indirectly elected by county and city councillors, while the Second Chamber was directly elected by universal suffrage. This reform was a result of great malcontent with the old Estates, which, following the changes brought by the beginnings of the industrial revolution, was no longer able to provide representation for large segments of the population.

    By an amendment to the 1809 Instrument of Government, the general election of 1970 was the first to a unicameral assembly with 350 seats. The following general election to the unicameral Riksdag in 1973 only gave the Government the support of 175 members, while the opposition could mobilize an equal force of 175 members. In a number of cases a tied vote ensued, and the final decision had to be determined by lot. To avoid any recurrence of this unstable situation, the number of seats in the Riksdag was reduced to 349, from 1976 onwards.

    Powers and structure

    The Riksdag performs the normal functions of a legislature in a parliamentary democracy. It enacts laws, amends the constitution and appoints a government. In most parliamentary democracies, the head of state commissions a politician to form a government. Under the new Instrument of Government [9] (one of the four fundamental laws of the Constitution) enacted in 1974, that task was removed from the Monarch of Sweden and given to the Speaker of the Riksdag. To make changes to the Constitution under the new Instrument of Government, amendments must be approved twice, in two successive electoral periods with a regular general election held in between.

    There are 15 parliamentary committees in the Riksdag. [10]


    As of June 2021, 47% of the 349 members are women, which is seventh highest proportion of females in national legislatures. [11] Two parties have a majority representation of female MPs as of 2020; the Left Party (18 of 27, 66%) and the Moderate Party (37 out of 70, 52%). The party with the lowest share of female MPs is the Sweden Democrats (18 of 62, 29%). [12]

    Members of the Riksdag are full-time legislators with a salary of 66 900 SEK (around $7 400) per month. [13]

    According to a survey investigation by the sociologist Jenny Hansson, Members of the Riksdag have an average work week of 66 hours, including side responsibilities. Hansson's investigation further reports that the average member sleeps 6.5 hours per night. [14]

    The former second chamber, nowadays used for committee meetings. Riksdagen.andra kammaren b7dn273 2826.jpg
    The former second chamber, nowadays used for committee meetings.
    The Riksdag building exterior, from the west, at night. Riksdagshuset 2.jpg
    The Riksdag building exterior, from the west, at night.


    The presidium consists of a speaker and three deputy speakers. They are elected for a 4-year term.


    The speaker of the Riksdag nominates a Prime Minister (Swedish : statsminister, literally minister of state) after holding talks with leaders of the various party groups in the Riksdag. The nomination is then put to a vote. The nomination is rejected (meaning the Speaker must find a new nominee) only if an absolute majority of the members (175 members) vote "no"; otherwise, it is confirmed. This means the Riksdag can consent to a Prime Minister without casting any "yes" votes.

    After being elected the Prime Minister appoints the cabinet ministers and announces them to the Riksdag. The new Government takes office at a special council held at the Royal Palace before the Monarch, at which the Speaker of the Riksdag formally announces to the Monarch that the Riksdag has elected a new Prime Minister and that the Prime Minister has chosen his cabinet ministers.

    The Riksdag can cast a vote of no confidence against any single cabinet minister (Swedish : statsråd), thus forcing a resignation. To succeed, a vote of no confidence must be supported by an absolute majority (175 members) or it has failed.

    If a vote of no confidence is cast against the Prime Minister this means the entire government is rejected. A losing government has one week to call for a general election or else the procedure of nominating a new Prime Minister starts anew.


    No single party has won a majority in the Riksdag since 1968. Political parties with similar agendas consequently cooperate on several issues, forming coalition governments or other formalized alliances.

    Two major blocs existed in parliament until 2019, the socialist/green Red-Greens and the conservative/liberal Alliance. The latter—consisting of the Moderate Party, Liberals, Centre Party, and Christian Democrats—governed Sweden from 2006 through most of 2014 (after 2010 through a minority government). The Red-Greens combination disbanded on 26 October 2010 but continued to be considered the main opposition until the 2014 election, following which the Social Democrats and the Green Party formed a government with support from the Left Party. [15]

    In 2019, after the 2018 election in which neither bloc won a majority of seats, the Social Democrats and Green Party formed a government with support from the Liberals and Centre Party, breaking the center-right Alliance. In March 2019, the Christian Democrats and Moderate Party signaled a willingness to talk with the Sweden Democrats. [16]

    Current party representation in the Riksdag [17]
    PartyLeadersSeatsSeat share (%)
    Social Democratic Party Magdalena Andersson 10028.7
    Moderate Party Ulf Kristersson 7020.1
    Sweden Democrats Jimmie Åkesson 6217.8
    Centre Party Annie Lööf 318.9
    Left Party Nooshi Dadgostar 277.7
    Christian Democrats Ebba Busch 226.3
    Liberals Nyamko Sabuni 205.7
    Green Party Märta Stenevi / Per Bolund 164.6
    Independent 10.3


    The offices of the parliament are housed in several buildings, including the former Royal mint on Mynttorget square. Kanslihuset ostra fasaden 2.jpg
    The offices of the parliament are housed in several buildings, including the former Royal mint on Mynttorget square.

    All 349 members of the Riksdag are elected in the general elections held every four years. All Swedish citizens who turn 18 years old no later than on the day of the election are eligible to vote in and stand for elections. A minimum of 4% of the national vote is required for a party to enter the Riksdag, alternatively 12% or more within a constituency. Substitutes for each deputy are elected at the same time as each election, so by-elections are rare. In the event of a snap election, the newly elected members merely serve the remainder of the four-year term.

    Constituencies and national apportionment of seats

    The electoral system in Sweden is proportional. Of the 349 seats in the unicameral Riksdag, 310 are fixed constituency seats allocated to 29 multi-member constituencies in relation to the number of people entitled to vote in each constituency. The remaining 39 adjustment seats are used to correct the deviations from proportional national distribution that may arise when allocating the fixed constituency seats. There is a constraint in the system that means that only a party that has received at least four per cent of the votes in the whole country participates in the distribution of seats. However, a party that has received at least twelve per cent of the votes in a constituency participates in the distribution of the fixed constituency seats in that constituency. [18]

    2018 election results

    Sveriges riksdag 20180924 enwp.svg
    Social Democratic Party S1,830,38628.26100−13
    Moderate Party M1,284,69819.8470−14
    Sweden Democrats SD1,135,62717.5362+13
    Centre Party C557,5008.6131+9
    Left Party V518,4548.0028+7
    Christian Democrats KD409,4786.3222+6
    Liberals L355,5465.4920+1
    Green Party MP285,8994.4116−9
    Feminist Initiative FI29,6650.460±0
    Alternative for Sweden AfS20,2900.310New
    Citizens' Coalition MED13,0560.200New
    Pirate Party PP7,3260.110±0
    The Direct Democrats DD5,1530.080±0
    Independent Rural Party LPo4,9620.080New
    Unity ENH4,6470.070±0
    Animal PartyDjuP3,6480.060±0
    Christian Values PartyKrVP3,2020.050±0
    Nordic Resistance Movement NMR2,1060.030New
    Classical Liberal Party KLP1,5040.010±0
    Communist Party of Sweden SKP7020.010±0
    Basic Income Party6320.010New
    Security PartyTRP5110.010New
    Scania Party SKÅ2960.000±0
    Norrland partiet600.000New
    Libertarian Freedom PartyFRP530.000New
    European Workers Party EAP520.000±0
    NY Reform320.000New
    Common Sense in SwedenCSIS210.000New
    Our Country – Sweden90.000New
    Reformist Neutral PartyRNP40.000±0
    People's Home Sweden20.000New
    Yellow PartyGup10.000±0
    Parties not on the ballot5880.010
    Invalid/blank votes58,546
    Registered voters/turnout7,495,93687.18
    Source: VAL
    Riksdag Alliances 2018.svg
    Red-Greens (S+MP+V) [19] 2,634,73940.68144−15
    The Alliance (M+C+L+KD)2,607,22240.26143+2
    Sweden Democrats (SD)1,135,62717.5362+13
    Invalid/blank votes58,546
    Registered voters/turnout7,495,93687.18
    Source: VAL

    See also

    Related Research Articles

    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.

    A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this term implies members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title. Member of Congress or Deputy is an equivalent term in other jurisdictions. Parliamentarian is also sometimes used to describe members of parliament, but the term may also be used to refer to unelected government officials with specific roles in the parliament, such as the Senate Parliamentarian in the United States, or to imply the characteristic of performing the duties of a member of a legislature, e.g. "The two party leaders often disagreed on issues, but both were excellent parliamentarians and cooperated to get many good things done."

    History of the Riksdag

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

    Elections in Sweden are held once every four years. At the highest level, all 349 members of Riksdag, the national parliament of Sweden, are elected in general elections. Elections to the 20 county councils and 290 municipal assemblies – all using almost the same electoral system – are held concurrently with the legislative elections on the second Sunday in September.

    Prime Minister of Sweden Head of government of Sweden

    The prime minister 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.

    Speaker of the Riksdag

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

    Anders Hansson, is a Swedish politician of the Moderate Party. He has been a member of the Riksdag since 2006. He is currently taking up seat number 12 in the Riksdag for the constituency of Skåne Southern.

    2018 Swedish general election

    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.

    2014 Swedish general election

    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.

    Stefan Löfven former Prime Minister of Sweden

    Kjell Stefan Löfven is a Swedish politician who served as the prime minister of Sweden from 3 October 2014 to 30 November 2021, and was leader of the Social Democratic Party from 2012 to 2021.

    Andra kammaren

    The Andra kammaren was the lower house of the bicameral Riksdag of Sweden between 1866 and 1970 that replaced the Riksdag of the Estates. The upper house was the Första kammaren.

    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. Löfven was reelected as Prime Minister in January 2019, thus forming the second cabinet of Stefan Löfven.

    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. Under the constitution, 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.

    Members of Parliament in Sweden sit in the Riksdag.

    2021 Swedish government crisis Government crisis in Sweden

    A government crisis started 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 an entire month. The 2021 government crisis is the second government crisis with 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 the rent control reforms which is an important issue for many voters.

    Löfven III Cabinet

    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 is 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.

    Prime Minister Stefan Löfven tendered his resignation on 10 November 2021, leaving his government in place as a caretaker cabinet until a new Prime Minister is elected by the Riksdag. Government formation talks commenced the following day with Magdalena Andersson, the newly-elected head of the Social Democratic party offering to lead a government. She was formally nominated to form a government by the Speaker of the Riksdag, Andreas Norlén later the same day. It is the third government formation process since the 2018 general election, the first taking a record 144 days before the formation of Löfven's second cabinet. The process took place just ten months ahead of the 2022 general election.

    Andersson Cabinet Cabinet of Sweden

    The Andersson cabinet is the present Government of Sweden, following the resignation of PM Stefan Löfven and the election of Magdalena Andersson as his successor. It was expected to be a coalition, consisting of two parties: the Social Democrats and the Green Party. However, 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 orginally planned to be installed on 26 November 2021, during a formal government meeting with King Carl XVI Gustaf, but due to a precedent regarding changes in a government's composition, Andersson needed a new confirmation vote. This is to make sure she still has the Riksdag's approval. This vote was held on Monday 29 November 2021.


    1. Instrument of Government, as of 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-16. Archived October 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
    2. The Riksdag Act, as of 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-16. Archived February 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
    3. Nöjd, Ruben; Tornberg, Astrid; Angström, Margareta (1978). "Riksdag (riksdagen)" . Mckay's Modern English-Swedish and Swedish-English Dictionary. David Mckay. p.  147. ISBN   0-679-10079-2.
    4. Gullberg, Ingvar (1977). "Riksdag". Svensk-Engelsk Fackordbok. PA Norstedt & Söners Förlag. p. 741. ISBN   91-1-775052-0.
    5. 1 2 "Riksdag". Nationalencyklopedin . 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
    6. Holmes, Philip; Hinchliffe, Ian (2013). Swedish: A Comprehensive Grammar. Routledge. p. 670. ISBN   978-1134119981 . Retrieved April 2, 2014.
    7. 1 2 "Riksdag, n.". Oxford English Dictionary . June 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
    8. riksdagen.se
    9. The Swedish Constitution, Riksdagen Archived January 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
    10. "The 15 parliamentary committees". Sveriges Riksdag / The Swedish Parliament. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
    11. "Percentage of women in national parliaments". New Parline: the IPU’s Open Data Platform (beta). Retrieved 2020-05-06.
    12. Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Ledamöter & partier". riksdagen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2020-05-06.
    13. Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Frågor & svar samt statistik över ledamöternas arvoden". www.riksdagen.se (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2018-11-04.
    14. "Hansson, Jenny (2008). De Folkvaldas Livsvillkor. Umea: Umea University" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-03.
    15. "Vi accepterar inte att Sveriges framtid, jobben och klimatet sätts på spel". Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). 2017-08-26. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
    16. Sweden, Radio (22 March 2019). "Christian Democrats willing to talk to all parties, including Sweden Democrats". Sveriges Radio . Retrieved 2019-03-22.
    17. "Ledamöter & partier" (in Swedish). Riksdag. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
    18. See e.g.: SOU 2008:125 En reformerad grundlag (Constitutional Reform), Prime Ministers Office.
    19. with F! 41.14 %