Norwegians tend to take their elections very seriously, as evidenced by voter turnout of 78.2 percent in last Monday’s parliamentary election. That’s exactly the same turnout as in the country’s parliamentary election four years ago.
The latest numbers from the state elections directorate show that 2,945,473 ballots were cast on Monday, up by nearly 100,000 from the 2,848,903 ballots cast in the election in 2013. The total number of eligible voters has increased as well, to 3,765,245, so the turnout percentage remained the same.
There had been some concern that voter turnout might decline given concerns that Norway also has disgruntled citizens who feel disenfrancised, and claimed on social media they wouldn’t vote. Election researcher Bernt Aardal, a professor at the University of Oslo, told newspaper Aftenposten, however, that any voter revolt in Norway is likely to be small.
“In Norway, it’s relatively easy for small parties to get into Parliament,” Aardal told Aftenposten. “There isn’t such a danger, like in the US’ two-party system, for folks to feel left out.” Those who are unemployed, ill or otherwise troubled can also receive assistance more easily from the social welfare system, he added, noting that Norway doesn’t have a large portion of “those sitting at home” who don’t take part in society, or elections.