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Election geography

The election area is the geographical area covered by the election e.g. a municipality or, in the case of the parliamentary election, the entire country.

The election area is divided into constituencies and it is these units that actually elect members. Election constituencies are, in turn, divided into electoral districts, with one polling station per electoral district. Electoral districts consist of a number of properties and it is in these properties that people who are entitled to vote are registered as residents.

The sizes of electoral districts vary but generally each district includes approximately 1,000–2,000 people who are entitled to vote. There is no absolute upper or lower limit to the size of electoral districts. The smallest district contains only a few hundred voters and the largest more than 2,000. There is one polling station in each electoral district. Each electoral district contains a polling station, where those who live in the district are able to cast their votes on Election Day.

The County Administrative Board determines the borders of the electoral districts following proposals by the relevant municipal council. The County Administrative Board is required to determine this division into electoral districts not later than 1 December in the year before election year.


In order for the election results to be as close as possible to proportionality there are what is known as adjustment seats in the parliamentary and county council elections and municipal council elections. First the permanent seats are allocated to the different parties and then the adjustment seats. A party that has not received enough votes for a permanent seat may still be allocated an adjustment seat. There are only permanent seats for elections to the Municipal Council and to the European Parliament.

By 30 April of the election year at the latest, the Swedish Election Authority must have taken a decision concerning how many permanent seats each constituency will be granted in the parliamentary election. This distribution is based on the number of qualified voters in election constituencies.

For the municipal and county council elections, the relevant municipal or county council takes the decision concerning the total number of seats to be established. The County Administrative Board decides, not later than 30 April of the election year, the number of permanent seats for each constituency.

Sweden constitutes a single constituency for elections to the European Parliament. The number of seats that each member state receives depends on the size of the country’s population. Sweden has 20 seats in the European Parliament.

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