Social Democratic Labor Party of Sweden

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Social Democratic Labor Party of Sweden


(SDLPS:, Sveriges Socialdemokratiska Arbetarepartiet), a party founded in 1889 as a revolutionary party of the Swedish proletariat and a section of the Second International. The Fourth Congress of the SDLPS, held in 1897, adopted a program analogous to the Erfurt Program of German Social Democracy. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the party was weakened by a struggle between revolutionary members and opportunists, including K. H. Branting, the leader of the party from 1907.

The left-wing youth opposition, including Z. Höglund, gained influence in the party in 1905 and 1906. The leftists adhered to the decisions of the international socialist Zimmerwald Conference of 1915 and the Kiental Conference of 1916. They broke from the party in February 1917 to form the Left Social Democratic Party of Sweden, which was renamed the Communist Party of Sweden in 1921. As a result, the SDLPS moved toward the right.

Members of the SDLPS belonged to the bourgeois government from 1917 to 1920. In 1920, 1921-23, and 1924-25, Sweden was ruled by Social Democratic governments headed by Branting. After Branting’s death, in February 1925, P. A. Hansson became the leader of the SDLPS; he served in this post until 1946. In the 1930’s, relying on reformist policies, the SDLPS proclaimed the possibility of building “democratic socialism” of a special “Scandinavian type,” based on the collaboration of all classes. The programs of the SDLPS, adopted in 1960 and 1975, also reflect the party’s reformist policies. From 1932 to 1976, leaders of the SDLPS served as prime ministers of Sweden; T. Erlander served from 1946 to 1969, when he was succeeded by O. Palme, who retained the post until 1976. The Social Democratic government has repeatedly declared that in foreign policy it stresses freedom from alliances. Its domestic policy is primarily devoted to social reform and the regulation of the labor market.

The SDLPS belongs to the Socialist International. In 1976 it had more than 1 million members. In the parliamentary elections of 1973, the SDLPS won 156 out of 350 seats in the Riksdag. In the parliamentary elections of 1976, the SDLPS won 152 out of 349 seats in the Riksdag, four seats less than in the previous elections. For the first time in the last 44 years, the SDLPS yielded power of government to bourgeois parties. The major publications of the SDLPS are the newspapers Arbetet and Aftonbladet and the journal Tiden.


Timashkova, O.K. Shvedskaia sotsial-demokratiia u vlasti. Moscow, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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