The Single-Issue Party Thesis and the Sweden Democrats

Reprint No. 2014:21

Author(s): Gissur Ó. Erlingsson, Kåre Vernby and Richard ÖhrvallYear: 2014 Title: Acta Politica Volume (No.): 49 (2) Pages: 196–216
Online article (restrictions may apply)

When commenting on the European radical right, the term ‘single-issue party’ is frequently bandied about. We survey the various conceptualizations of the term and then apply them to the Sweden Democrats (SD), a party with roots in extremist subcultures that gained parliamentary representation in the 2010 elections. In the empirical analysis, we draw primarily on a unique survey of all parliamentary candidates to study: (i) the SD candidates’ positions on a large number of diverse issues, (ii) what issues they prioritize and (iii) the degree of ideological cohesion among their candidates. Secondarily, certain voter characteristics associated with the single-issue party concept are surveyed. Here, we use a large-scale exit poll to study: (i) SD voters’ demographic characteristics and (ii) what issues they prioritize. Throughout, the other main Swedish parties serve as points of comparison. Against what is commonly claimed, we find that the single-issue party label fits the SD poorly.

Erlingsson,Gissur Ó., Kåre Vernby and Richard Öhrvall (2014), "The Single-Issue Party Thesis and the Sweden Democrats". Acta Politica 49(2), 196–216.

Richard Öhrvall


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Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

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In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


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