Protest votes alter Norwegian politics

“The only answer is to be radical,” declared a triumphant Lan Marie Nguyen Berg after her flourishing Greens Party trounced Norway’s established parties not only in Oslo but all over the country as well. Monday’s local elections were an exercise in humility for Labour, the Conservatives and not least the Progress Party, as protest votes […]

Latest polls show Greens in the lead

Several public opinion polls released less than a week before Monday’s local elections in Norway show record-high voter support for the Greens Party (MDG/Miljøpartiet de Grønne), no longer just in Oslo but all over the country. Its support, along with that for a resurgent Center Party, comes at the expense of both Labour and the Conservatives, […]

State urges foreign residents to vote

Monday’s municipal and county elections in Norway are the only ones in which non-citizens can vote, as long as they have legal resident status. State election officials are making a special effort this year to encourage everyone with “immigrant backgrounds” to exercise their right to vote and participate in Norway’s democracy. The Norwegian Directorate of […]

Alta in mourning, campaign halted

All the political parties in Norway’s northern city of Alta have halted their election campaigns following a helicopter crash during the weekend that killed everyone on board. Among the victims were the son and niece of local Progress Party politician Ronny Berg.  “We all think that it just feels completely wrong to keep campaigning in […]

Solberg wards off government crisis

Prime Minister Erna Solberg finally got her three government coalition partners to agree late Friday night on a new compromise for financing transport improvements. The plan aims to reduce the need for local governments to impose more controversial bompenger (road tolls),  after months of noisy public opposition to higher tolls all over the country.  The […]

Støre ‘ready’ to take over government

His Labour Party is falling in the polls and his personal popularity is low. Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre has nonetheless confirmed that he stands ready to take over as Norway’s prime minister if Erna Solberg’s government coalition crashes because of disagreement over road tolls. Labour is always prepared to assume government responsibility if it’s […]

Road tolls can cost the state dearly

Finance Minister Siv Jensen’s Progress Party reignited the Norwegian government’s internal battle over bompenger (road tolls) on Sunday. The ongoing battle is still threatening to unravel Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s conservative coalition, as confusion and uncertainty reign just weeks before local elections. It’s the local governments around Norway that actually set road tolls in their own […]

Tempers rise over Greens’ ‘socialism’

Morning radio listeners got an earfull on Thursday, when the ever-provocative deputy leader of Norway’s conservative Progress Party, Sylvi Listhaug, accused the Greens Party of furthering socialism and “nanny state” policies aimed at “tearing down” much of what Norway has built up for generations. “Utter nonsense,” retorted her counterpart from the Greens, Arild Hermstad, during […]

Voters reject both Progress, Liberals

Norwegian voters seem to be abandoning two of the parties that make up Norway’s conservative government coalition, less than a month before important local elections. The once-high-flying Progress Party hasn’t had such little support since the early 1980s, while the Liberal Party keeps losing voters at an embarrassing rate. A new public opinion poll conducted […]

Election campaign off to a noisy start

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s normally polite politicians were all but shrieking at one another during state broadcaster NRK’s nationally televised party leader debate Monday night. It got the campaign leading up to next month’s local elections off to an unusually noisy start, with road tolls and property tax still emerging as the most heated issues. Sparks […]