The Swedish-speaking population of Finland, although small, has always been active in seeking to maintain its cultural identity and safeguard its social and economic interests. There is only one monolingual Swedish-language political party, the SFP or Svenska folkpartiet (Swedish People’s Party). It has voter support of about 4% and its main task is to pursue Finnish-Swedish language policy and to protect the Swedish language’s position in Finland. SFP is a bourgeois party that mainly receives Finnish-Swedish votes, but which far from all Finnish-Swedish voters vote for. The party was founded in 1906 and has in many times been part of the government and held ministerial posts.
Although the SFP is the only Swedish-language party, there are and have been MPs from other parties who have Swedish as their mother tongue and declared themselves as being concerned with Swedish-language issues, or who have otherwise been influential in Finnish politics. Other political parties in which Finnish Swedes have been represented are, for example, the Left Party, whose current party leader is Li Andersson and for which the poet Claes Andersson has long chaired. The Social Democratic Party SDP, on their part, had during the 20th century a Finnish-Swedish parliamentary member for a full 36 years: Karl-August Fagerholm, who sat in parliament 1930-66, was prime minister for three rounds as well as social minister and parliamentary speaker.