Polyas Election News 2017

The Norwegian general election has come to a close on Monday’s election. In a tight campaign that pitted the incumbent right-wing coalition against a centre-left opposition, the conservative PM, Erna Solberg seems to have defeated their challengers, with 95% of votes counted.

As it stands, estimates show a narrow victory for the Conservatives and their right-wing coalition partners, claiming roughly 89 out of 169 seats in parliament. We will post the final results as they come in. The coalitions are made up of the following parties:

Norwegian General Election Coalitions

Conservative Coalition:

  • Conservatives – 48 Seats (26.8%)
  • Progress Party – 29 Seats (16.3%)
  • Christian Democrats – 10 Seats (5.6%)
  • Liberals – 9 Seats (5.2%)

Labour-led Coalition:

  • Labour – 55 Seats (30.8%)
  • Centre – 10 Seats (5.5%)
  • Socialist Left – 7 Seats (4.1%)
  • Greens – 1 Seat (2.8%)
  • Red – 0 Seats (1.1%)

How does the System Work?

Norway is made up of 5.2 million people, and uses proportional representation, with a twist, to elect their Parliament. Out of 169 seats in Parliament, 150 are allocated proportionally from the 19 voting constituencies in Norway.

The 19 other seats are allocated to parties that clear 4% of the national vote, again proportionally to reflect their national vote-share.

Key Issues

The Norwegian economy was dealt a severe blow by the collapse in oil prices in 2014. However, the conservative coalition made continuing and building upon the recent economic recovery a key election pledge. Indeed, they pledged to decrease taxes as a core election pledge. Their populist partners, on the other hand campaigned on the back of tougher immigration measures and tackling the recent migrant crisis.

Labour, on the other hand, aimed to reduce inequality by raising taxes on the wealthy, with which his government would improve the quality of public services. Labour support had been undermined recently with steady drops in unemployment as the Norwegian economy recovered.

Oil, Gas and the Environment

The fossil fuel industry has made Norway rich. On the back of North-Sea oil and Gas, Norway has amassed a sovereign wealth fund close to 1 Trillion USD. Yet, the future of the industry has been up for debate for the first time.

Norwegian general election campaigners have debated the closing of the industry and have started to question their economic dependence, the environmental and the moral implications of Norway’s largest industry. With the near-certain conservative victory, these questions are likely to be placed on the back-burner for a few more years.