Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Norway PM Erna Solberg projected to hold on to power in election

Norway PM Erna Solberg projected to hold on to power in election

If confirmed, it would be its worst result since 2001.

Jacobin's Ellen Engelstad - editor of the online journal Manifest Tidsskrift - had a chat with Marie Sneve Martinussen, the deputy leader of Rødt (the Red Party) about their strategy for the election and their analysis of the current state of affairs in Norway. An economic rebound in western Europe's biggest oil exporter and declining joblessness won over voters in Scandinavia's richest nation.

The win is historic for Solberg, whose supporters compare her firm management style to that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, because no Conservative-led government has retained power in an election in Norway since 1985.

The early results were met with silence at the Labour Party rally.

"They (The Liberals and the Christian Democrats) will support Solberg as prime minister, but the question is whether they get a firm agreement or if there is cooperation on a case-by-case basis", said Elisabeth Ivarsflaten, a professor in comparative politics at the University of Bergen.

For much of the year, Labour and its allies were favoured by pollsters to win a clear victory, but support for the government has risen as the economy gradually recovered from a slump in the price of crude oil, Norway's top export.

Solberg's victory was narrow and her bloc ended up losing seats.

"These elections were a great disappointment to the Labor Party".

The rural Center Party, which was the election's single biggest victor with a gain of 10 seats, has called for a public inquiry into the country's relationship with the EU.

The Green Party, which has called for an end to Norwegian petroleum exploration, failed to live up to projections it could emerge as a kingmaker, a development that's likely to be a relief for the nation's oil industry.

Estimates based on a partial count of about 75% of votes cast in Monday's general election gave 87 seats in the 169-seat storting to Solberg's Conservatives, their populist, anti-immigration Progress party coalition partners and two smaller centre-right parliamentary allies. "But as it looks now it wasn't enough to replace a Conservative-Progress Party government with a Labour government". Its 49 seats were a loss of six from what it held in the previous parliament.

In power since 2013, Solberg's coalition has promised continuity.

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