Ebba Busch Thor

Ebba Busch Thor
Ebba.Busch.Thor.riksmotet2015.15d686.1710040.jpg
Ebba Busch Thor in September 2015
Leader of the Christian Democrats
Assumed office
25 April 2015
Party secretary Acko Ankarberg Johansson
Peter Kullgren
Preceded by Göran Hägglund
Member of the Riksdag
Assumed office
23 September 2018
Constituency Västra Götaland County East
Personal details
Born
Ebba Elisabeth Busch-Christensen

(1987-02-11) 11 February 1987 (age 32)
Gamla Uppsala, Sweden
Political party Christian Democrats
Spouse(s) Niklas Thor (m. 2013)
Children 2
Alma mater Uppsala University
Ebba Busch Thor speaking at Sergels Torg in Stockholm the day before the Swedish election in 2018

Ebba-Elisabeth Busch[1] (née Ebba-Elisabeth Busch-Christensen; born 11 February 1987), since her marriage to Niklas Thor in 2014 commonly known as Ebba Busch Thor, is a Swedish Christian Democrats politician who has served as Leader of the Christian Democrats since April 2015. She is a candidate in the 2018 Riksdag (Parliament) election, for Uppsala County and almost all other constituencies.[2]

Early life and education

Born to a Swedish mother and Norwegian father, Busch Thor identifies as both Norwegian and Swedish.[3] Growing up in Gunsta, near Uppsala, she was a student at the Christian Livets Ord primary school. She later studied the IB Diploma Programme at Katedralskolan in Uppsala, and peace and conflict studies at Uppsala University.[4]

She is a member of the Church of Sweden.[5]

Political career

Busch Thor was the municipal party political secretary for the Christian Democrats councillor Gustaf von Essen in the Uppsala Municipality. In 2009 she assumed responsibility for the budget when Essen went on sick leave, and at the age of 22 she became a substitute municipal councillor.[6] Ahead of the election for municipal councillors in Uppsala in 2010, the party suggested that Busch Thor should be placed third on the election ballot, while the incumbent councillor Gustav von Essen would be first.[7] The party youth organization chairman Charlie Weimers, who did not get to vote in the election, wrote that he thought the party should have Busch Thor at the top of the ballot.[8]

In the end, a closed vote within the party decided the top name on the ballot, and Busch Thor beat Essen by a margin of two votes.[9][10] At the election, Busch Thor received 1,679 votes, against only 220 for Essen.[11] Busch Thor served as vice chairman of the Christian Democrat youth organisation until 5 June 2011.

Busch Thor made several comments to the media during 2010 criticizing the then party chairman Göran Hägglund, and what she perceived as his weak leadership following the 2006 General Election. Ahead of the January 2012 leadership election within the party, she supported Hägglund's opponent Mats Odell.[12] She was also herself a candidate for the post of deputy party chairman at the same election, but lost to Maria Larsson.[12] Previous top names in the party have stated that they strongly disagree with Busch making the party into a right wing party instead of a Christian party and have even threatened to leave their party as a result of Busch's nomination, while perhaps the most popular ex-leader of the party, Alf Svensson, has described his disappointment with Busch's worldview.[13]

Party Leader

In 2015, Busch Thor was announced as the suggested successor of Göran Hägglund as party leader of the Christian Democratic party, and was formally elected on 25 April.[14] Her time as leader was long characterized by an uncertainty on how to profile the party, and consistent low numbers in opinion polls. Her early attempts to gain votes by adopting tougher positions on immigration and law and order were thwarted when the Moderate Party usurped that space. This was followed by a return to a focus on more traditional Christian Democratic issues, such as healthcare and family politics. At the same time, Busch Thor continued to position the party in a more conservative direction on other issues like the opposition to Mosque prayer calls, gender science at preschools and calling for harsher penalities for so called honor killings.[15][16][17] At the same time, she also came under attack from social conservatives inside her own party for participating in the Stockholm Pride Parade.[18]

The Christian Democrats received only 2,9% in a big opinion poll published in May 2018, and the party's fortunes looked bleak. But support quickly grew as the election campaign got under way with the first debate in mid-August. Busch Thor's strong performance in this and other debates was credited in large part for the party's surge in the polls.[19][20] She ended up leading her party to its best electoral performance in 12 years, finishing well above the 4% threshold.

Personal life

In 2013, Ebba Busch married footballer Niklas Thor.[21] She has a son, Birger, born in May 2015[22] and a daughter, Elise, born in February 2017.[23]

References

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
-
Municipal Commissioner for Christian Democrats in Uppsala Municipality
2010 –2015
Succeeded by
Jonas Segersam
Party political offices
Preceded by
Göran Hägglund
Leader of the Christian Democrats
2015 – present
Incumbent

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