Two women are among the most likely candidates to take over as leader of Sweden’s second largest party, the Nya Moderaterna.

It will still be several months before the Moderates will choose a new leader to follow Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, but an internal campaign is already in progress for parliament group leader Anna Kinberg Batra, 44, and outgoing Minister for Infrastructure Catharina Elmsäter-Swärd, 48.


Just like Reinfeldt before he was elected in 2003, Kinberg Batra is currently a group leader and the party's first name in the Finance Committee. In her current role, she has been taking a lot of responsibility after the election defeat, and has represented the party in the talks with Stefan Löfven.

However, with Reinfeldt’s strongest support among M-politicians in the municipalities and in the major M-districts in Stockholm county and city, Elmsäter-Swärd seems to be the favored candidate. She has traveled much of the country and has been very visible in several campaigns and additional party meetings. “She is immensely popular among the grassroots,” says an M-source.

Among her supporters is Bo Frank, mayor of Växjö, current party secretary Kent Persson, outgoing Trade Minister Ewa Björling and Henry Stenson, chairman of the Moderate Party in Stockholm.

Other names that are highlighted as potential party leader candidates are outgoing Minister for Social Security, Ulf Kristersson, 50, and school political spokesperson Tomas Tobé, 36.