Election Studies


Universal suffrage has given the people of Sweden the opportunity to influence their political representation for almost a century. For the past two decades, this has also included the European Parliament. Sweden has a long tradition of conducting election studies and is among the world's foremost in the field. A considerable part of this research is available via SND.

This page presents some of the election studies whose data are accessible through SND. There is also a list of links to other relevant national and international sources.

The Swedish National Election Studies Program and the Election Studies
The Swedish National Election Studies Program (SNES) was established in the mid 1950s by Jörgen Westerståhl and Bo Särlvik and has become a well-known network of researchers interested in empirical studies of opinion formation, elections, and Swedish democracy. Since 2010, Professor Henrik Ekengren Oscarsson is head of SNES. He succeeded Professor Sören Holmberg, who held the position for more than thirty years. Together with Statistics Sweden, SNES and the University of Gothenburg have carried out recurring election studies since 1956, at every regular parliamentary election. Every Swedish referendum since 1957 has also been studied (the Referendum Studies). These studies include information about how the Swedish people thought and voted about occupational pensions, nuclear power, EU membership, and the euro. Since 1995, studies of the European Parliament elections are also included in a series that contains data concerning general questions about politics, but also more detailed questions about the attitudes to the European Union and the European Parliament. This year sees the 27th national election study, which constitutes SNES as the longest European series of election studies in existence. It is also the second longest such series in the world, after the American National Election Study (ANES), which has been conducting its surveys as far back as 1948. Other international resources with comparative election studies include CSES (Comparative Study of Electoral Systems) and CCS (Comparative Candidate Survey).

Election Studies and Media
Swedish Television (SVT), in cooperation with KTH Royal Institute of Technology and University of Gothenburg, have carried out exit polls for referenda and elections for the Swedish and European Parliaments since 1991. Through these surveys, extensive analyses of election results are possible already during the SVT live coverage of the election. The data are then deposited with SND to enable further secondary analysis. Some election studies are connected to media and their effect on election results and the electoral campaign. The Media Election Surveys, which started in 1979, is a series of surveys from the University of Gothenburg, also available through SND. These surveys examine election coverage in newspapers, radio, and television, and its relevance to the election results. The DEMICOM research centre at the Mid-Sweden University investigate the role of the media in election campaigns. A major part of this research pays particular attention to our digital society and how it affects for instance media use and content in election campaigns. They also have a special election-campaign project, in which strategic political communication and political opinion formation are studied.

Party Programmes and Election Manifestos
“Vi vill …!” [We want …!] is SND's own document resource within the area of elections and democracy. It was created in 2000 with funding from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond: The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and the Social Sciences. The material contains around 200 party programmes and election manifestos. This resource offers an excellent possibility to explore how parties have changed over time and what issues have been important to them over the past century. The material also offers an interesting opportunity for linguistic research, as it is available through the Swedish Language Bank search-tool for corpora, Korp. You can also test your own knowledge about the values and actions supported by Swedish parties over the years in the SND game “Gissa partiet” [Guess the party] (only in Swedish).

SND studies


List all studies


The media election surveys
The surveys contain data on political content of articles and features in the press, radio and television, and its importance to the election results since 1979.

SVT exit poll surveys
Surveys conducted in direct connection to polling stations on election day in parliamentary elections, referendums and elections to the European Parliament.

Swedish electoral data
Electoral data from 1911 onwards, contains data from the general elections, county council elections, municipal elections, referendums and European Parliament elections.

Swedish National Election Studies
Survey series conducted by Statistics Sweden and the University of Gothenburg at every general election since 1956, as well as referendums and European Parliament elections.

Swedish party programmes and election manifestos 1887 – 2010
Unique collection of more than 200 party programmes and election manifestos of political parties in the Swedish Parliament from 1887 onwards.


The surveys describe the annual political opinion in Sweden since 1986.

Swedish opinion
Survey series of Swedish public opinion for the years 1979-1985.

Institutional Trust
Study series that since 1997 measures the Swedish people's trust in various social and political institutions.

Municipal elections

Local elections

Local Citizen Survey

Local party organizations


Local campaign leaders 2001

TV4 parliamentary election day survey 1998

SIFO 1988: If the Green Party enters the parliament

Local radio coverage of the election campaign 1979

Swedish electorate 1887-1968