Left Party (V)

Left Party (V). The Left Party is the continuation of Sweden’s old Communist party.

The party was founded from a splinter in the Social Democrats in 1917 caused by the Russian revolution.

The party was never a major threat to the Social Democrats, taking 10.3% of the vote in 1944 at its height but otherwise mostly winning between 3% and 5%.

While the party and the Social Democrats never really liked each other much (Social Democrat Tage Erlander once declared he would turn “every trade union into a battleground against the Communists” ) the party still took pains to ensure that the Social Democrats remained in power, often supporting its minority governments.

The party moderated in the 1960s, jettisoning Stalinist discourse and embracing newer ‘eurocommunist’ ideas, renaming itself ‘The Left Party – The Communists’, and the most resolutely pro-Soviet faction left the party in the late 70s.

The party changed its name once again to just ‘The Left Party’ in 1990 with the fall of the USSR and officially claimed to be no longer communist. It won a major election victory, 12.0%, its best ever result, in 1998 on the back of disaffection with the Social Democrats’ centrism.

The party is predominantly a left-of-Social Democrats party which hopes to suck up everyone which sees the Social Democrats as too right wing. It embraces feminism (an official ideology of the party along with Socialism). It is opposed to privatisation, and prefers higher taxes. It is broadly progressive on immigration.

The party did poorly under Lars Ohly, its leader from 2004 to 2012, perhaps due to rumours which suggested that Ohly was still secretly a Communist sympathiser.

The party has risen in recent years however, and polls show it on around 5-10% support.

The party is Eurosceptic, like most far-left parties in Europe.

The Left Party is a member of the Nordic Green Left, and is the sole member of that group to sit by that descriptor in the European Parliament (Denmark’s Socialist People’s Party sit with the Greens, whereas Finland’s Left Alliance sit in the European United Left).

The is one of the least loyal members of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group, voting alongside it 81.8% of the time, the fourth least loyal score.