1979 Swedish general election

General elections were held in Sweden on 16 September 1979.[1] Although the Swedish Social Democratic Party remained the largest party, winning 154 of the 349 seats in the Riksdag,[2] the liberal interim government of Ola Ullsten was succeeded by another centre-right coalition government composed of the People's Party, the Moderate Party and the Centre Party, led by Centre Party leader Thorbjörn Fälldin. The three parties together won 175 seats, compared to the 174 won by the Social Democrats and Communists. It was the only time that non-socialist parties retained power in an election between 1928 and 2010. The Moderates dramatically increased their representation in the Riksdag, becoming the largest party of the non-socialist bloc, a position they have maintained ever since.

1979 Swedish general election

 1976 16 September 1979 1982 

All 349 seats to the Riksdag
175 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Olof Palme Gösta Bohman Thorbjörn Fälldin
Party Social Democratic Moderate Centre
Last election 152 55 86
Seats won 154 73 64
Seat change 2 18 22
Popular vote 2,356,234 1,108,406 984,589
Percentage 43.2% 20.3% 18.1%
Swing 0.5% 4.8% 6.0%

  Fourth party Fifth party
Leader Ola Ullsten Lars Werner
Party People's Left-Communist
Last election 39 17
Seats won 38 20
Seat change 1 3
Popular vote 577,063 305,420
Percentage 10.6% 5.6%
Swing 0.5% 0.9%

PM before election

Ola Ullsten
Liberal People's

Elected PM

Thorbjörn Fälldin

Despite the unexpected victory, the coalition split in 1981 when the Moderates withdrew support in protest at Fälldin's tax policies, which they viewed as "too leftist". Despite not being the leader of the coalition party with the most seats, Fälldin had been the designate Prime Minister since his earlier resignation in 1978, upon disagreement over the question of nuclear power.