The Prime Minister or Statsminister is the head of Government in Sweden. Before 1876, when the office of Prime Minister was instituted, Sweden did not have a formal head of Government. The architect behind the new Riksdag of 1866, Louis De Geer became the first Prime Minister, but ironically it had been the absence of his informal leadership in the Government that had brought about the reform.
Under the Constitution of 1809
Since the Constitution of 1809 there had actually been the two titles of Prime Minister for Justice or Justitiestatsminister and Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs or Utrikesstatsminister, but their roles had merely been that of a head for respective Ministry. At the introduction of the new office in 1876, the Prime Minister for Justice became Prime Minister, while the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs was nominally demoted to Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Minister for Foreign Affairs did however continue to be styled as Excellency, an honour shared only with the Prime Minister.
Until 1976 the Government authority had been exercised through the Privy Council when constitutional reform provided a new Instrument of Government which formally established the parliamentary principles and created a Cabinet Government.
Following a general election, the Speaker of the Riksdag holds consultations with the party leaders and appoints a Prime Minister-designate, who then submits a list of ministers for approval to the Parliament. If the list is approved they form a Cabinet Government under the leadership of the Prime Minister. Single ministers can be forced to resign by a vote of no confidence by Parliament, but if the Prime Minister is forced to resign the entire cabinet falls and the process starts over.
The Sager House
In 1991 the Sager House was acquired, and since 1995 it has served as residence for the Prime Minister. The Sager House is located adjacent to Rosenbad, the Government chancellery, straight across the water from Helgeandsholmen with the Riksdag building, and beyond that lies the Royal Palace.
Prime Ministers under the Privy Council Government
Prime Ministers of the Cabinet Government