If you look at regional variations in wins and losses in the Swedish election, a fascinating picture emerges:
- Left Party (biggest losses) – Stockholm City (-3,4), Västernorrland County (-3,2), Gävleborg County (-3,2)
- Green Party (biggest wins) – Stockholm City (+2,6), Gothenburg City (+2), Malmö City (+1,8); on the other hand the party also lost votes in a number of rural districts such as Norrbotten (-1,2), Dalarna (-0,4) and Gävleborg (-0,3)
- Social Democrats (biggest losses) – Stockholm City (-8), Skåne South (-7,5), Stockholm County (-7,1); the Social Democrats won 3,9 points in Norrbotten County due to the decline of the regional Norrbotten Party
- Centre Party (biggest wins) – Stockholm City (+4), Gotland (+4), Uppsala County (+3,1)
- Liberals (biggest losses) – Stockholm City (-9,4), Stockholm County (-9,1), Gothenburg City (-7,8)
- Conservatives (biggest wins) – Stockholm County (+15,9), Stockholm City (+13,9), Skåne South (+12,9)
- Christian Democrats (biggest losses) – Western Götaland South (-4,3), Skåne North and East (-4,3), Jönköping (-3,7)
My colleague Flemming Juul Christiansen did the maths on the two blocs and came to this result:
- Left bloc (losses) – Skåne South (-8,8), Stockholm City (-8,8), Stockholm County (-8,7)
- Centre-right bloc (wins) – Stockholm County (+7,4), Malmö City (+7,1), Stockholm City (+7,1); Kalmar, Värmland and Blekinge saw only small overall gains for the “Alliance”
- Combined changes – biggest in Stockholm County (16,1), Stockholm City (15,9), Skåne South (15,2), smallest in Norrbotten (3,6), Värmland (5,0), Kalmar (5,5)
Feel free to say “well, duh!” but the real battlegrounds of this election were the Stockholm region and Skåne. It would be interesting to correlate this to regional economic data but for now, my argument will be that the Social Democrats had their biggest problems in those regions with the fastest growth in service industries and population.
These calculations have been made from the Electoral Agency’s (Valmyndigheten) data for the final result of the 2002 elections and the preliminary results for the 2006 election.