Sweden Democrats

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The Sweden Democrats (Swedish: Sverigedemokraterna) are a Swedish nationalist, anti-immigration party. In 2010, the party won 20 seats in the Swedish Parliament. In 2014, this increased to 49 seats. In 2018, this increased again to 63 seats.

The party was founded in 1988. In contrast to many other western European similar anti-immigration parties, such as the Swedish forerunner Ny Demokrati, the Danish People's Party, the Norwegian Fremskrittspartiet and the Dutch Freedom Party, which tend to have libertarian or conservative roots, the Sweden Democrats have historical links to the Swedish Neo-Nazi movement. Though the party officially denounces racism, they are often accused of racism and Islamophobia, and there have been a number of incidents where municipal SD politicians have had to resign following racist statements or other unacceptable actions.[1] In 2015 the party disbanded the youth wing it then had, viewed as too toxic and extremist, former members of which then went on to form the fringe far-right party Alternative for Sweden in 2018.

Until 2019, the other seven parties in the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) refused to cooperate or engage with the Sweden Democrats, despite SD growing to become the third largest party.[2][3][4] The ModeratesWikipedia and Christian DemocratsWikipedia opened up to cooperation first,[5][6][7] joined by the centre-right LiberalsWikipedia in 2021.[8] Party leader Jimmie Åkesson hopes for his party to become part of a greater Conservative Bloc in the Swedish Riksdag.[9] The question of whether or not to cooperate with the SD party as a means to greater influence or even forming a government has been and in part continues to be a divisive question for centrist and other right-wing parties and voters.


The party describes itself as nationalist, and, since 2011, social conservative. Several opponents brand the party as racist, far right and populist. The party also praises the social democratic welfare state.

The Sweden Democrats are to a large extent "cultural Christians", and a moderate portion of their voters have been won over from the Christian democratic party, KristdemokraternaWikipedia, which began to shrink around the time the Sweden Democrats had its great growth spurt. Disgruntled elderly Christian voters who jumped ship from the Christian Democrats due to them not being sufficiently anti-immigration and anti-feminist found a new rallying cry with the emergence of the Sweden Democrats.

The Sweden Democrats previously wanted to restrict the rights to abortion, an unusual position in Swedish politics, but changed their views in 2019.[10][11] They also brand themselves as tough on crime, desiring to promote entrapment, to withdraw executive pardoning, and other controversial enforcement techniques.


Since its foundation in 1988, there have been several incidents involving high-ranked Sweden Democrats. Many of them have been brought to public attention since the party entered Parliament in autumn 2010.

One of the most infamous is the iron pipe scandal, which happened in June 2010, surfacing in November 2012, where three top-level Sweden Democrats (two of them MP's when the scandal erupted) recorded themselves on video, brawling at McDonald's in central Stockholm using racist and sexist slurs against bystanders, later picking up iron aluminium pipes from a nearby scaffold.

See also[edit]