Norway’s small Liberal Party (Venstre) seems to finally be reversing a long trend of miserable standings in public opinion polls. Another new measure of voter preferences has boosted the Liberals over the important sperregrensen, the magic 4 percent that gives political parties full representation in Parliament.
Media outlets are calling it “the Guri effect,” after the enthusiastic 39-year-old Guri Melby was recently elected as the party’s new leader. She also has two deputies who, like herself, are ministers in the current non-socialist government coalition. In Scandinavia, liberals tend to be center-right and not on the left side of politics.
In the week since Melby took over, two new polls both show the Liberals with 4.2 and 4.4 percent of the vote. With parliamentary elections set for next September, Melby has the next 11 months to keep building voter support, and perhaps help keep Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s Conservatives in office.