Book chapter abstract

Väljare, valdeltagande och valda : En studie av stadsfullmäktigevalen i Östersund, åren 1862-1864


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Publication Details

Subtitle: En studie av stadsfullmäktigevalen i Östersund, åren 1862-1864

Author list: Dalin, Stefan

Publisher: Mittuniversitetet

Place: Sundsvall

Publication year: 2014

Book title (if part of a book): Makt, myter och historiebruk : Historiska problem i belysning

Start page: 57

End page: 74

Number of pages: 18

ISBN: 978-91-86694-96-8


This article examines the initial impact of the 1862 municipal voting reform. The town of Östersund is the subject of the case study and the focus is directed on issues such as voter turnout, voting patterns and political recruitment.

What was the turnout? Inarguably, the socio-economically powerful groups made up a greater share of the electorate compared to the socio-economically disadvantaged groups; a phenomenon which has been supported in some previous research. In Östersund however, turnout was generally higher than in many other Swedish cities. Furthermore, it can be noted that in the election in 1862 a group of workers and public servants organized a collective vote. Similar actions have not been reported in previous research. This example of early political organization is interesting since the action violated the prevailing political culture whereby the candidate would be elected based on their good character and qualifications, and not as a proponent of a particular political program or political affiliation.

Their attempt failed. No obvious representatives of the workers and public servants were elected to the City Council; undoubtedly his had a negative consequence on these voter groups in the 1864 town council elections.

In the elections under discussion in this article none of the candidates voted for themselves which was an expression of a political culture with its roots in the period before 1862. It was considered vulgar to vote for oneself. On the subject of political recruitment to the council Östersund did not differ from other Swedish cities. It was the citys socio-economic elite who elected their own representatives.


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