Folkpartiet och den förlorade mitten
The Liberal Party – Winning Influence but Losing Flexibility In the 2014 parliamentary elections, The People’s Party – Sweden’s liberal party – received 5.4 per cent of the votes, which represents the party’s second-worst result ever. For quite some time, the electorate has perceived The People’s Party as lacking clarity as to its policy positions and its positioning within the left-right spectrum. Participation in the centre-right coalition governments since 2006 has, however, reinforced the popular image of the party as being to the right of centre. Government participation has also resulted in significant opportunities to imple- ment its political programme; in particular the party’s education policies. Prior to the election of 2014, however, this led to the party being associated with problems in the Swedish schooling system, which resulted in the loss of the issue owner- ship. The close co-operation between the centre-right parties, which formed the basis for the coalition government, at the same time had the effect of limiting the party’s opportunities to emphasise other parts of its programme. For a party that, due to a limited number of core voters, is dependent on winning a large number of floating votes at every election, this represented a position that contributed to the electoral losses as well as laying the foundation for internal conflicts.