The number of portfolios allocated to each party in the new government has been the object of some interest in Swedish media. Just for the fun of it, I did some calculations of the logic behind the distribution.
A rule of thumb says that each party should get a share of the portfolios that is roughly equivalent to that party’s share of the votes in the coalition.
With 22 portfolios to distribute, we get the following result:
- Conservatives: 26,23% of the total vote = 54,37% of the coalition vote = 11,96 ministers
- Centre Party: 7,88% total = 16,33% coalition = 3,59 ministers
- Liberal Party: 7,54% total = 15,63% coalition = 3,44 ministers
- Christian Democrats: 6,59% total = 13,66% coalition = 3,01 ministers
As cutting up actual ministers in order to make them fit a strictly mathematical distribution would be highly unethical, we need to find another key to use when we distribute the remainders. Using the principle of the largest remainder, we get: Conservatives – 12 ministers, Centre Party – 4 ministers, Liberal Party – 3 ministers and Christian Democrats – 3 ministers.
What actually happened was that the Conservatives renounced on their “last” minister which was then transferred to the Liberals who were next in line. This is not surprising – junior partners are often overrepresented in coalitions – but what would be interesting to know is whether the Liberals’ bonus portfolio was Integration or Europe.
If you are curious about what a distribution with 20 ministers would have looked like, the answer is: Conservatives – 10,87 (i.e. 11), Centre Party – 3,27 (3), Liberals – 3,13 (3) and Christian Democrats – 2,73 (3). If the Conservatives renounced on their last minister, the Centre Party would have had 4 portfolios.