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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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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