Sweden's new defense measures include considerable increases in military capacity for the entirety of their Armed Forces. What are the stances of the main parties on this policy (beyond an agreement to pass it by the Centre Party and Liberal Party)? Is there any recent polling that indicates what the Swedish people think, and how important this issue is for them?

I was looking for an overview that would describe how this shift happened. Most articles only mentioned the Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist.

The best article I've seen on the topic was this piece in the EU Observer that focusses more on the question of NATO membership and future joining options. It doesn't really concern itself with the defense budget, but it gives an indication of party alignment: Sweden Democrats split, and centre-left (anti-NATO) against centre-right (open-to-NATO-in-the-future). There is, however, no clear indication whether this split matches any on defense spending.

The longest description of the domestic support is given in the Government publication:

The Government’s proposal is based on an agreement between the government parties, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party.

Most of the other overviews only say that the new defense measures include a larger-than-ever-before budget with considerable spending for a larger navy. None of the articles have described what the political consensus for this increase is—beyond that it's led by the Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist of the Social Democrats.

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The background is the defense committee's report that concluded that the security situation has worsened, mainly due to Russia. There is also a risk that China grows stronger, hence the US might need to focus west rather than east. Read more on Swedish Wikipedia

So based on the report, all the parties wanted to increase funding, the question being how much. They usually seek large majorities for such long term decisions, but the right-wing parties left the negotiations because the government didn't want to guarantee long term funding.

Regarding what Swedes think I found this SOM-institutets opinionsundersökning (page 344, an historical overview about "decreasing the defense funding"):

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The black line is the percentage that answered "good proposal" (or "very good proposal"). The grey line is "bad proposal" (or "very bad proposal"). In 2013 they were almost equal but by 2014 it's around 45% for "bad" and 18% for "good".

  • 1
    Thanks for the image. I was wrong, all parties wanted to increase the funding to some extent, so I removed "almost".
    – Anders
    Dec 29, 2020 at 9:42
  • The jump between 2013 and 2014 is probably because the Swedes were caught napping by the Russians at Easter 2013: sv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryska_påsken Dec 29, 2020 at 10:57

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