Progress gains in polls

The nationalist Progress Party strides forward in support; most other parties see decline

The Local

The nationalist Progress Party (Fremskrittpartiet) has seen a significant increase in support, according to recent polls. A new opinion poll puts the party up 4.2 points on a previous survey ahead of Norway’s general election, scheduled for September 11 this year.

“We have delivered,” the party’s leader Siv Jensen told news agency NTB after the poll, carried out in May by the Vårt Land newspaper, was published.

The poll puts support for the right-wing party close to the levels it enjoyed at the last general election in 2013, when it entered coalition government for the first time with Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s Høyre (Conservative) party.

Support for the Progress Party received a boost from 11.7 percent to 15.9 percent between April and May, according to the poll. The party received 16.3 percent of the votes in the 2013 election.

“This is very good. With almost four years in government many might have been predicting government fatigue, but we think we have kept a visible and clear profile during this time. We have delivered, despite being part of a minority government,” Jensen said.

The Liberal (Venstre) party is the only other party that saw a rise in support in the poll, scoring 3.1 percent, up from 2.1 percent in April.

This means the party remains under Norway’s four percent threshold for leveling seats (utjevningsmandater)—a system used in Scandinavian parliaments whereby extra seats are awarded to parties in addition to constituency seats, a mechanism designed to ensure parliamentary representation reflects the popular vote.

Venstre received 5.2 percent of the vote in 2013.

Høyre moved back 1.6 points in the poll, leaving it with a percentage of 22.7. This would give the two coalition parties 73 of parliament’s 169 seats if an election were held today—four fewer than they currently hold.

The Labor Party (Arbeiderpartiet), Norway’s biggest opposition party, which led the Red-Green coalition government prior to losing nine seats in the 2013 election, slipped 1.6 points to 31 percent.

This article was originally published on The Local.

It also appeared in the June 16, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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