Electoral Mobilization and the Rise of the Swedish Social Democrats

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Anatomy - Large LT (University of Glasgow)
Mona Morgan-Collins , University of Pennsylvania
Grace Natusch , London School of Economics
The mobilization of Swedish workers since the turn of the century was a gradual process, with the Social Democrats almost doubling their support between 1910 and 1940 - that is even after the vast majority of male workers were enfranchised. How did the Social Democrats achieve electoral dominance despite the fact that workers were never a dominant group in the population? This paper explores how strategic appeals to groups that emerged from changes in the electorate created electoral opportunities for the party. This paper utilizes individual level data from electoral registers in Sodertalje and Vastermo municipalities. This data is matched with individual census records, election data that are separated by gender and data on programmatic appeals of parties. The compiled data set offers a unique opportunity to unravel who were the newly mobilized women and men and how political parties exploited exogenous changes in the electorate.