Svenska kyrkan

The final results of the 2021 Church Election: 18.4% turnout

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The final counting of votes for the 2021 Church Election shows a turnout of 18.4% for the General Synod, the second highest level since the 1930s. With 900,753 votes cast, it is also the second highest number of votes ever cast in a church election. In two dioceses – Visby and Växjö – voter turnout increased compared to the 2017 Church Election.

The final counting of votes for the 2021 Church Election shows a turnout of 18.4% for the General Synod. Photo: Magnus Aronson/Ikon.
The final counting of votes for the 2021 Church Election shows a turnout of 18.4% for the General Synod. Photo: Magnus Aronson/Ikon.

“After two successive church elections with a new, higher level of voter turnout, we can conclude that church elections are not a “forgotten election”. Despite the pandemic, we still achieved a higher voter turnout, which is difficult to explain with one-off effects,” says Anki Bondesson, church election leader.

GENERAL SYNOD – distribution of seats

2021

2017

difference

VOTER TURNOUT in % (4.9 million people entitled to vote)
Number of votes

18.4%
900,753

19.1%
984,680

-0.7
-83,927

The Workers’ Party – the Swedish Social Democratic Party (S)

70

76

-6

Partipolitiskt obundna i Svenska kyrkan – Non-politically affiliated members of the Church of Sweden (POSK)

47

43

+4

The Centre Party of Sweden (C)

30

34

-4

Borgerligt alternativ – Centre-right voters who are not affiliated to a political party (BA)

20

22

-2

The Sweden Democrats (SD)

19

24

-5

Vänstern i Svenska kyrkan – Members of the Left Party in the Church of Sweden (ViSK)

19

9

+10

Öppen kyrka – Open Church (ÖKA)

13

11

+2

Frimodig kyrka – An Outspoken Church (FK)

8

10

-2

Miljöpartister i Svenska kyrkan De gröna – Members of the Green Party in the Church of Sweden (MPSK)

8

6

+2

Kristdemokrater i Svenska kyrkan – Christian Democrats in the Church of Sweden (KR)

7

7

+/-0

Fria liberaler i Svenska kyrkan – Free liberals in the Church of Sweden (FiSK)

4

7

-3

Alternative for Sweden (AfS)

3

new

Heaven and Earth (HoJ)

1

new

Parishes abroad (fixed number of seats)

2

2

 

Highest turnout in Stockholm
The highest turnout, as in the 2017 church elections, was recorded in the Diocese of Stockholm with 22.3% (2017: 22.9%). Two dioceses increased their turnout compared to 2017: Visby Diocese 19.1% (2017: 17.9% and Växjö Diocese 18.2% (2017: 17.7%).

Turnout in the dioceses

2021

2017

Gothenburg Diocese

17.88%

18.52%

Härnosand Diocese

17.70%

19.17%

Karlstad Diocese

17.47%

19.18%

Linköping Diocese

17.01%

17.37%

Luleå Diocese

17.65%

19.08%

Lund Diocese

16.68%

16.77%

Uppsala Diocese

18.09%

19.43%

Visby Diocese – BIGGEST INCREASE

19.12%

17.93%

Västerås Diocese

18.09%

19.28%

Växjö Diocese – INCREASE

18.16%

17.73%

Skara Diocese

17.96%

18.31%

Stockholm Diocese – HIGHEST TURNOUT

22.26%

22.88%

Strängnäs Diocese

17.36%

18.63%

Early voting a success
Due to the long pandemic period and the risk of contagion, Anki Bondesson had some concerns that members would not bother to vote. The Electoral Office had an ongoing dialogue with the Public Health Agency of Sweden, and prepared the church election based on the restrictions that were in place at the time. An important factor was the possibility to vote at other times than on election day, such as by postal voting and early voting, which according to reports from the parishes was a success.

“The fact that over 900,000 people voted is extremely pleasing and shows that the Church of Sweden is important to a lot of people! I think both the early voting and the overall results show commitment and faith in the future; people want to be involved in choosing who will be entrusted with governing the Church of Sweden over the coming years,” says Anki Bondesson.

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The final counting of votes for the 2021 Church Election shows a turnout of 18.4% for the General Synod. Photo: Magnus Aronson/Ikon.
The final counting of votes for the 2021 Church Election shows a turnout of 18.4% for the General Synod. Photo: Magnus Aronson/Ikon.
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The Church of Sweden is a national church, open to everyone living in Sweden regardless of nationality. It is a place for church services, meetings and dialogue. The Church of Sweden is an Evangelical Lutheran church with 5,9 million members. There are 3500 churches in Sweden, and 13 dioceses.

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