The Centre Party - Centerpartiet

2:31 min

The Centre Party is currently part of the governing Alliance. Environmental issues, small businesses and a vibrant countryside are in focus.

"The Centre party says they're going to be the green voice of the centre-right Alliance", Tomas Ramberg says. "So they're pushing some environmental issues, for instance getting rid of toxic chemicals. They're also pushing important issues for small business owners and entrepreneurs".

The Centre Party started out as the Farmers' League in the beginning of the 20th century. In an increasingly more industrialized and urbanized Sweden, they wanted to be a counterweight - a voice for the farmers.

But in the 1950s, the party broadened its political platform and went from being a farmers' party to a party working for a better environment and for a decentralization of government authority. The party changed its name and formed a coalition government with the Social Democrats.

The party saw its heyday in the mid-seventies, when they formed the first non-socialist government the country had seen in forty years. Their firm anti-nuclear power stance was a big part of their success back then. Even though they are no longer demanding a nuclear phase-out, the Centre party remains critical to nuclear power and wants to see more alternative energy sources.

But this election, one of the core issues is banning dangerous chemicals. But Tomas Ramberg says it's not primarily the Green vote that their after.

"Voters interested in the environment have left the Centre Party. They might vote for the Greens or other parties instead. This goes hand in hand with a shrinking population in the countryside, the group of people they've traditionally represented. So the Centre Party has tried to compensate by being the main party for small business owners, making it easier to set up and run a business" Tomas Ramberg says.

While the Centre party has cooperated with parties on both sides of the political spectrum, ever since the creation of the centre-right alliance in the mid 2000s the party seems to have planted itself more firmly to the political right. But according to Tomas Ramberg, their attempts at vying for conservative voters have not been all that successful.

"It's a challenge for them to win people over in the cities", Ramberg says. The entrepreneurs they are targeting are still mostly voting for the Moderates. In the eyes of these voters, they haven't been able to establish themselves as the best party for entrepreneurs, even if they are pushing many of their core issues.