Voter-Party Alignment : Explaining the rise of Swedish populism
Sammanfattning: Populism is on the rise, anti-globalism, nationalism, and xenophobia run rampant, andtraditional mainstream parties seem unable to curb the tide. Sweden is no exception, eventhough it in some cases seems like it should be, with the populist party the SwedenDemocrats gaining more support by each passing election. In this thesis, the rise of theSweden Democrats and the slow decline of the mainstream Social Democrats and ModerateParty are explored and explained through the use of the term issue alignment. The thesisexamines if the reason for mass migration from the established mainstream parties is due tothe Sweden Democrats being better aligned with voters’ stance on issues and policy.Furthermore, the thesis investigates if the mainstream parties’ voter loss is due to worseningalignment, but not finding any significant decline over time. Similarly, the thesis investigatesif the improving national vote results of the Sweden Democrats are due to improvingalignment between the party and the voters, again, finding no proof for this theory. TheSweden Democrats’ level of issue alignment with voters has not improved consistently overthe period, and similarly, the mainstream parties’ level of issue alignment has not decreasedconsistently over the period.
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