Kristdemokraterna: Bäst när det gäller – men hur länge?
Christian Democrats – Best When it Counts, But for How Long? The Christian Democrats succeeded to keep up their parliamentary position after the 2014 national parliamentary election despite a string of disappointing opinion polls. The party has changed its leader since the election. The former leader Göran Hägglund was popular among the Christian Democratic voters but he did not manage to prevent the loss of voters since the successful 1998 election. The party has been shaken by several ideological conflicts. Hägglund was challenged from the inside during the last parliamentary term but won the leadership election and was reelected at the party’s Riksting in 2012. The Swedish Christian Democrats have developed from a small Christian protest party with an unclear position regarding Left and Right to a (still) small Conservative party and coalition partner in three Liberal-Conservative governments since 1991. The party stands on a shaky voting foundation, and has to appeal to a broader and more mainstream non-socialist group of voters in order to be able to cross the four percent parliamentary threshold. The parliamentary group has been active on a broad range of issues with a social conservative profile. In office the Christian Democrats have been active mostly on matters regarding welfare and health care since they have mainly been managing the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. Christian Democratic values – as they are interpreted in a European framework – are not widely distributed among voters and are only superficially established in Sweden. The party’s future depends on whether it manages to keep the older groups of adherents – mainly churchgoers – and at the same time attract newer groups with more mainstream traditional Conservative values.