Swedish Gender Divide in Voting Habits Wider Than Ever Before
Growing differences in voting patterns between men and women is a trend seen in many countries and attributed to women taking an increasing interest in politics. Voting in droves, women tend to support a more generous welfare and lighter immigration rules.
Women and men tend to vote differently – this is a fact that has been known for a long time. But never before has the gap between male and female voting patterns in Sweden been as great as it is now.
According to Statistics Sweden, differences between the sexes when it comes to voting have become increasingly pronounced over the past half-century, with men tending to move to the right, and women shifting to the left in the political landscape.
The national-conservative Sweden Democrats appear to have the most skewed demographic. In the 2018 election, the party got more than twice as many votes from men than from women.
The liberal-conservative Moderates have also always had more male supporters, and this has become more the case over time.
By contrast, the left-of-centre parties are drawing a rising number of women into their orbit.
The Left, formerly known as the Communist Party of Sweden, has gained a dominance of female supporters, despite historically having a larger proportion of males.
The ruling Social Democrats have long had an even gender distribution, but gained a female majority, with male voters switching to the right. Their main sidekicks, the Greens, have always been more popular among women.
The only parties that have had an even gender distribution of sympathisers are the Centre Party and the Liberals.
Sweden's political landscape would be completely different if only men or women voted. In a male-elected parliament a right-wing coalition of Moderates, Sweden Democrats and Christian Democrats would emerge whereas if only women were given the vote, a broad centre-left coalition centred around the Social Democrats and the Left would win.
The fact that men and women are increasingly pulling in different political directions is a trend witnessed in many countries and, according to political scientists Jakob Ahlbom and Maria Oskarsson, coincides with increasing political interest on women's part, national broadcaster SVT reported. Among others, women tend to support more generous welfare policies and laxer immigration rules.
This phenomenon has been observed in the US, where men tend to vote Republican, whereas women are generally supportive of the Democrats. This trend manifested itself clearly during the 2020 election, together with other voting patterns.