Prime Minister of Sweden

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Prime Minister of Sweden
Sveriges statsminister
1974 Instrument of Government
Formation20 March 1876; 148 years ago (1876-03-20)
First holderLouis Gerhard De Geer
SuccessionLine of succession
DeputyDeputy Prime Minister
Salary2,112,000 kr/US$ 203,076 annually
WebsitePrime Minister's Office
Title in Swedish:
Herr statsminister

The prime minister of Sweden (

Parliament of Sweden. The prime minister is nominated by the speaker of the Riksdag and is elected by the chamber by simple majority, using negative parliamentarianism. The Riksdag holds elections every four years, in the even year between leap years.[1]

As with several other similar offices in Europe, the office of Prime Minister came into existence in the nineteenth century as a result of Sweden's democratisation. Prior to the creation of the office, Sweden had no official head of government separate from the king; the country in periods was an absolute monarchy. However, several figures had formerly attained de facto status as leader of the government. Today, the prime minister holds the most influential political role in Sweden.[2]

Unlike most prime ministers in parliamentary systems, the prime minister is both de jure and de facto chief executive. This is because the Instrument of Government explicitly vests executive power in the government, of which the prime minister is the leader. The prime minister has two official residences; these are the Sager House and Harpsund.[3]


Historically, the

Gustav I, Charles XI, and Gustav III showcase how the Swedish government was structured around the monarchy. However, many of these kings had powerful domestic advisors who sometimes took on the role of de facto head of government; the most prominent of these examples is Axel Oxenstierna, who played a pivotal role in the formation of the Swedish Empire. The office of Lord High Chancellor was commonly the closest role to a de jure head of government, and they had similar responsibilities to the modern Prime Minister during the so-called Age of Liberty
; no governmental offices were called Prime Minister at the time.

At the adoption of the new

styled as "Excellency", an honour shared only with the prime minister.[4][5]
After 1917, it was no longer possible for a monarch to appoint the prime minister and the councillors of state (cabinet ministers) at their own discretion, or keep them in office against the will of the Riksdag.[6] From that time onward, while the king still formally appointed the prime minister, in practice he was required to appoint the leader of the majority party in the Riksdag, or the leader of the senior partner in the majority coalition. While the provision in the Instrument of Government stating that "the King alone shall govern the realm" remained unchanged, it was now understood that the king was required to exercise his powers through the ministers and act on their advice. Over time, the ministers came to de facto exercise the royal prerogatives. However, the Swedish term used for the government during this period was still Kungl. Maj:t, an abbreviation of Kunglig Majestät 'Royal Majesty'.

Until 1974, the executive authority in Sweden had been exercised through the

cabinet government
with constitutional powers not derived from the Crown. At the same time, it stripped the monarchy of even nominal political powers, making the cabinet the country's executive authority in both name and in fact. This codified a number of practices dating from the definitive establishment of parliamentary government in 1917.



Instrument of Government requires that the prime minister appoint a member of the cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister, to perform the duties of the prime minister if the prime minister cannot. However, if a deputy prime minister is absent or has not been appointed, the senior minister in the cabinet becomes acting head of government. If more than one minister has equal tenure, the eldest assumes the position (see Swedish governmental line of succession
for the present governmental line of succession).

Constitutionally, the prime minister's position is stronger than that of his or her counterparts in Denmark and Norway. Since 1975, the prime minister has been both de jure and de facto chief executive, with powers and duties specifically enumerated in the Instrument of Government. In the two neighboring Scandinavian monarchies, the monarch is the nominal chief executive, but is bound by convention to act on the advice of the ministers. However, the so-called Torekov Compromise reached in 1971 by the major political parties, codified with the Instrument of Government that went into effect in 1975, stripped the Swedish monarch of even a nominal role in governmental affairs, thus codifying actual practices that had been in place since the definitive establishment of parliamentary government in 1917.



To appoint a new prime minister, the speaker of the Riksdag holds consultations with party leaders to propose a candidate to be submitted for approval to the Riksdag.[7]

The speaker's proposed candidate is then elected through negative parliamentarism. In practice, this means that the prime minister nominee is confirmed if fewer than 175 MPs vote 'no', regardless of the number of 'yes' votes or abstentions.[8] This is described as being "tolerated" by a majority of the Riksdag.[9]

After approval by the Riksdag, the new

prime minister-designate
must inform the Riksdag which ministers are chosen to make up the new government.

The formal change of government, and thus the start of the term for the new prime minister takes place at a Council of State at the

Andreas Norlen handed it over during the meeting of the Council of State.[11]


Whenever a prime minister resigns, dies, or is forced from office by the Riksdag, the speaker of the Riksdag asks the prime minister (or their deputy) to keep the government as a caretaker government until the new government takes office. [10]

With the exception of the prime minister, cabinet ministers (Swedish: statsråd [ˈstatsroːd] ) do not need the approval of the Riksdag, but they can be forced to resign by a vote of no confidence.[12] If the prime minister is forced by a vote of no confidence to resign, the entire cabinet falls, and the process of electing a new prime minister starts. The prime minister can dissolve the Riksdag, even after receiving a vote of no confidence, except during the first three months after an election.[10]


Office and residences

The government offices, including the prime minister's office, are located at

Riksdag building on Helgeandsholmen

In 1991 Sager House (or the "Sager Palace" as it was previously called) was acquired, and since 1995 it has served as the private residence of the prime minister.

Harpsund, a manor house in Flen Municipality, Södermanland County, has served as a country residence for the prime minister since 1953. The manor is also frequently used for governmental conferences and informal summits between the government, industry and organisations in Sweden.


The salaries of the cabinet ministers, including the prime minister, is decided by and is the subject of annual review by the Statsrådsarvodesnämnden 'Cabinet Ministers' Salary Committee' of the Riksdag. Since 1 January 2022 the prime minister's monthly salary is 184,000 SEK.[13]

Office and residences

  • The Rosenbad building has functioned as the Prime Minister's Office (Statsrådsberedningen) since 1981.
    The Rosenbad building has functioned as the Prime Minister's Office (Statsrådsberedningen) since 1981.
  • The Sager House is the Prime Minister's official residence since 1995.
    The Sager House is the Prime Minister's official residence since 1995.
  • Harpsund Manor has been used as the Prime Minister's country residence since 1953.
    Harpsund Manor has been used as the Prime Minister's country residence since 1953.
  • Kanslihuset was where the Prime Minister's Office was located prior to 1981. Nowadays it houses offices of the Riksdag.
    Kanslihuset was where the Prime Minister's Office was located prior to 1981. Nowadays it houses offices of the Riksdag.

See also


  1. ^ "Start". Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  2. ^ Regeringskansliet, Regeringen och (24 November 2014). "Prime Minister's Office". Regeringskansliet. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  3. ^ Burcher, Priscilla (27 August 2018), Sager House, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Sweden, retrieved 10 November 2023
  4. ^ Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish). Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell. 1915. p. 66 – via Project Runeberg.
  5. ^ Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish). Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell. 1964. p. 57 – via Project Runeberg.
  6. .
  7. ^ "Forming a government". Sveriges Riksdag. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  8. Regeringskansliet
    (in Swedish). 5 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  9. Sveriges Riksdag. Archived
    (PDF) from the original on 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  10. ^ a b c Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Forming a government". Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  11. ^ url=
  12. ^ Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Examines the work of the Government". Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Statsrådsarvoden och ersättningar" (in Swedish). Government of Sweden. 1 July 2019.


External links