2014

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.


Reference:
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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