Norway’s election

Five things to know about the outcome of September 11’s general election

Norwegian ballot box.

Photo: Andreas Haldorsen / Wikimedia
Norwegian ballot box.

The Local

Norway’s conservative parties won a majority in September 11’s election. Here are five essential things to take away.

1. Conservative allies may refuse to support the Progress Party
The four “blue bloc” parties—Solberg’s Conservatives (H), the nationalist Progress Party (FrP), the Christian Democrats (KrF), and the Liberals (V)—have 89 seats between them, 10 more than the red-green total of 79.

But a continuation of the status quo from the previous election, in which a Conservative-Progress coalition was supported by the two smaller parties, appears in doubt after the Christian Democrats stated that they no longer wish to work with the right-wing, strictly anti-immigration Progress Party.

“We support a center-right government, so we will see what happens. If that’s not the type of government we get, we’ll go into opposition. But we will not support a blue-blue [Conservative-Progress, ed.] government,” Christian Democrat leader Knut Arild Har­eide said during a post-election leaders’ debate at Stortinget on the night of the election.

Liberal leader Trine Skei Grande has yet to commit her party. Solberg has invited her fellow leaders to talks on the make-up of the new government.

2. Labor loses votes in all regions
Jonas Gahr Støre’s Labor (Ap) party was by far the worst performer in the election. The party, traditionally Norway’s largest, retained the largest single share of the vote over the Conservatives—but its projected regression to 27.4 percent represents the worst election for the party since 2001.

The party lost votes in every single one of the country’s administrative regions.

Støre said following the election that he was disappointed but expected to continue as leader. “Tomorrow the work begins to evaluate this election. I will take responsibility, and that means leading that work,” he told Aftenposten.

3. Agrarian centrists the biggest winners
The Center Party (Sp) is now Norway’s fourth largest, with 10.3 percent of the votes and 18 seats, up from 10 prior to the vote.

The anti-EU membership, pro-decentralization party last performed this strongly in the early 1990s, when the debate about Norway’s relation to the EU was at its height.

In the rural Sogn og Fjordane region, the party saw a huge 9.2 point gain from 2013, while in the Nordland municipality of Andøy, a local government crisis relating to the closure of an airfield saw Center gain an astonishing 63.7 points.

4. Marxist party gains parliamentary seat
The Red Party (R), an outsider founded in 2007, has a projected 3.1 point gain in Oslo, where Labor, the Conservatives, Progress, and the Christian Democrats all lost support.

The Socialist Left and Center parties did gain ground in the capital, completing an apparent swing to the left in Norway’s biggest population center.

A party with a declared Marxist-Socialist ideology, the Norwegian Red Party seeks to replace capitalism with democratic socialism but does not support armed revolution.

With 1.2 percent of the overall vote at the latest count, Red leader Bjørnar Moxnes is likely to enter parliament as a representative for Oslo.

5. Record number of women in parliament
Seventy women have won parliamentary seats at the latest prognosis, up from 67 in the 2013 parliamentary term, which was also a record at the time of that election, reports NTB.

The 70 seats held by women represent 42 percent of parliament as a whole.

This article was originally published on The Local.

It also appeared in the Sept. 22, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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