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). The predominantly liberal SFP party founded in 1906, which makes it one of the oldest political parties in Finland and places most policy emphasis on the maintenance of Swedish as an official minority language in this country.
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. Karl-August Fagerholm (1901–1984), for example, was Speaker of Parliament and three times Prime Minister of Finland as chair of the Social Democrats.
There are 200 MPs in the Finnish parliament, of which nine are from the SFP, and one from the Åland islands. Together, these 10 form the Svenska riksdagsgruppen (or Swedish parliamentary group). The MP from the Swedish-speaking Åland islands is politically separate from the SFP. Uniquely, the MP from Åland will choose after each parliament election which political group to align with. None of the mainland political parties exist in Åland, which has separate political parties. It is usual that the MP from Åland has chosen the SFP group but as mentioned, Åland is an autonomous region that is free to choose its own alliances within the Finnish Parliament.
There are Finland-Swedish politicans represented in most parties in Finland.