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Typical Election Candidate Male and Middle-Aged

Published fredag 11 juni 2010 kl 14.56
Politician Barbro Westerholm at Stockholm Pride 2004.

Sweden's wannabe MP's are most likely to be male and middle-aged, at least according to a new look at the 5,500 Parliamentary candidates for this fall's national elections in Sweden.

The study by Statistics Sweden looked at the demographic breakdown of the candidates and found that the conservative Moderate party has the least women candidates at just 41 percent, compared with an average of 45 percent for all the parties' candidates.

While the Moderates' female candidate count is up from the last election, some are still concerned that it is not enough.

Christina Fräki, from the Moderate Party's women's organisation told Swedish Radio News she thought that perhaps few women choose to run because it is a big commitment to be a candidate for Parliament.

The Left Party, however, has a majority of women candidates at 51 percent.

Statistics Sweden's study also looked at the age distribution of all the candidates and found that those aged between 50 to 64-year-old are most common, with the average age of all the candidates at 46.7 years. Parties with the highest numbers of older candidates were the center-right Liberals and the Christian Democrats.

One of the oldest candidates is Barbro Westerholm of the Liberals. She will soon celebrate her 77th birthday and told Swedish Radio News that it's no problem that the Liberals have so many elderly candidates. Rather, she said, "This is a huge strength because there are people here with knowledge and life experience. I think it gives stability to a parliamentary group and also an understanding of the past. One can explain why things seem the way they are now."

Meanwhile, Lena Tjäder is one of the youngest candidates on the party lists. She is running for the Left Party. At just 23-years-old, she says she thinks she can attract more young people to vote for the Left. Despite her young age, she claims she has a lot to give, with set views.

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