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Norway election: Conservaties triumph

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Norwegian centre-right leader Erna Solberg is set to form a new government after Labour Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg admitted election defeat.


Ms Solberg described her win as "a historic election victory for the right-wing parties".


Her Conservative Party is widely expected to form a government with the anti-immigration Progress Party.


It is oil-rich Norway's first general election since attacks by a far-right extremist left 77 people dead in 2011.

With three-quarters of the votes counted, the bloc of four right-wing parties had won 96 of 169 seats in parliament.


Ms Solberg, 52, will become Norway's second female prime minister after Gro Harlem Brundtland, and its first Conservative prime minister since 1990.


She is nicknamed "Iron Erna" for her robust views when she served in the cabinet between 2001 and 2005.


Much attention is now focused on the Progress Party, poised to enter government for the first time.


Ms Solberg also needs a third coalition partner to ensure a majority - but it is not yet clear whether the smaller Christian Democrats or Liberals are prepared to work with the Progress Party. They may instead opt to stay out, but give parliamentary support to a minority government comprising the Conservatives and Progress.


Correspondents say the Progress Party has toned down its anti-immigration rhetoric since Anders Behring Breivik's atrocity in 2011.


The vote was Norway's first general election since the far-right extremist killed 77 people in an Oslo bombing and a gun attack at a Labour Party youth camp. Breivik had previously been a member of the Progress Party.


A sharply critical report last year on police blunders in their response to the attack is reckoned to have undermined support for Mr Stoltenberg.


The arcticle continues here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24014551


The seats in parliament (left to right politically):


  • Socialist Left Party - 7 (down by 4)
  • Green Party - 1 (first ever seat)
  • Labour - 55 (down by 9)
  • Centre Party - 10 (down by 1)
  • Christian Democrats - 10 (no change)
  • Liberal Party - 9 (up by 7)
  • Conservatives - 48 (up by 18)
  • Progress Party - 29 (down by 12)


Graphic: http://mm.aftenposten.no/valgresultater/


I'm furious at how Stoltenberg, who did a great job, especially after the terrorist attacks, was voted out practically because a wealthy nation was bored. Norway is probably the nation that is best off in the world today, yet people complain about the immigration and welfare. Hopefully we'll swing back to a Red/Green government in 2017 or sooner.

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^ Thanks for the information.



I too am sad to see Stoltenberg leave as Prime Minister.


In Denmark there is a tendency of 10 years with one block, then 10 years with another block. Stoltenberg was Norwegian PM for 8 years and did a good job. I guess that the Norwegian people needed to see some new faces at power and voted accordingly.


I think that Stoltenberg deserved better than this result. But not being PM means that he will have more time for other things than politics (if this is a consolation).

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^He'll be leading the opposition. In Norway it seems to be 8 or less, this was one of the longest reigning governments.

I definitely think you're right about seeing new faces, there isn't much other room for discontent.


Had the Socialist Left Party received 1600 votes less they would have had 2 seats instead of the 7 they have now, in accordance to the Norwegian electoral system. A close shave last night.

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Guest howyousawtheworld
He'll be leading the opposition. In Norway it seems to be 8 or less, this was apparently one of the longest reigning governments.

I definitely think you're right about seeing new faces, there isn't much other room for discontent.


I was really surprised to see this. Stolenberg had the decency to travel over to the Shetland Isles (where I used to live) last year to commemorate the Shetland Bus that provided a lifeline for the Norwegian resistance movement during the Second World War. Seemed a really respectable and strong leader. I briefly looked into Norwegian politics last year for my honours year of politics (religion and politics!) but I understand that it has been incredibly difficult for a government to be re elected three times in a row in that country?


Nonetheless this has got to come as a big warning sign to all centre left/left parties today. With Australia having just elected a conservative government over the weekend and Angel Merkel's Christian Democrats set to retain power in Germany in two weeks time one has to look at the Labour Party here in the UK and their prospects at the 2015 general election. Like Norway and Australia, immigration is set to be a big debate come 2015 and the Conservative Party are really starting to dominate and set the agenda in the run up to the next election. Indeed Cameron's Conservative Party is starting to make the gains in the opinion polls.

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Stoltenberg is a good leader, and has always seemed to me to be a very down to earth guy. I think, based on the foreign media coverage, that he's more popular aborad than in Norway. They don't understand why we'd want a new government. The economy is great, unemployment low etc.


The conservative trend has gone around Europe. Sweden went over to a conservative government a few years ago, and it looks like Høyre have similar ideas to the Moderates there. The Progress Party, the far right party, also picks up a lot of votes by appealing to people's irritations: toll booths, taxes and a ban on snowmobiles and the sale of alcohol after 8. And of course immigration.

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Guest howyousawtheworld

And of course there was Mark Rutte's Peoples Party gaining power in the Netherlands back in 2010, arguably David Cameron's closest ally in Europe. Even since then it appears the Conservative grip on Europe is tightening.


Incidentally what are the Norwegian major parties policies on Europe. Is there general agreement there? I know Norway isn't apart of the EU and will remain that way so I'm guessing their isn't any real divergence in policy there. Or am I wrong?

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Norway is part of the European Economic Area (EØS), so we're part of a trade agreement with the EU.

This isn't really a hot topic at the time being. There've been two public votes about EU, both times with the no side winning, so most likely there'll have to be a vote first.


As for the political parties, the Conservatives and possibly the Progress Party want an EU membership, while most of the other parties are happy with the present situation (EØS) or want to change the deal. The Progress Party, for example, are against the immigration that comes with the deal. All in all, none of them are willing to work for a membership without public support.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The conservative party and the progress party announced a couple of days ago that they will be forming government, meaning that Norway now has the most conservative goverment in Europe. Not pleased. They will also be receiving support from the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats in parliament, even though they won't be joining them in government. This has it's pros and cons. So far there have been two:


Pro - There will be no oil drilling in the sensitive areas around Lofoten, or other controversial places such as Jan Mayen.

Con - The subject Religion and Ethics in school will now be called Christianity, Religion and Ethics and will consist of 55% Christianity.

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