Parties: Center Party
The Center Party was founded in 1913 as the Farmer’s League. The name was changed to Center Party in 1957.
The party has its strength in rural areas, and is traditionally the voice of the farming community. In recent years the Center party has established itself as an environmental party, strongly opposed to nuclear power.
From centre left to centre right
After close contacts and support for the Social Democrats after World War II, the Center party has migrated towards the centre right.
When the opposition won the 1976 elections, it was the Center party leader, Thorbjörn Fälldin who became Prime Minister. But the coalition with the liberal coservative Moderates and the Liberals became marred by infighting over the issue of nuclear power. A Liberal minority government ruled for 12 months in 1978-79, before Fälldin once more formed a majority government.
The 1991 government
The Social Democrats returned to power in 1982. During the 1980’s, Fälldin’s successor, Karin Söder, was the first woman to head a Swedish political party. But support for the party slowly declined and by the time the four centre-right parties won the 1991 elections, it was the Moderate Party which had become the largest party. Its leader Carl Bildt, became the new prime minister.
Independent stance on energy
The current Center Party leader, Maud Olofsson has been instrumental in building a strong alliance with the other centre-right parties. However, the party still supports an agreement with the minority Social Democratic Party government in 1997 which supports the shut-down of Sweden’s nuclear power stations - something which the other centre-right parties appose.