Norway Election: Labour routs Conservatives

Labour dominates and looks to form a coalition

On Monday, Norwegians went to the polls ending the Conservatives’ hopes of three consecutive governments by electing a Labour government. Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg formally conceded last night after winning only 36 seats. Labour leader, Jonas Gahr Støre, pledged to tackle economic equality and improve public services by taxing the rich.

Norway’s Labour Party won 48 of the 169 seats in Parliament – not enough to form an outright majority of 85 seats. Coalition talks are impending.

The oil-rich nation’s election underlined climate concerns. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that big changes were “inevitable” and “irreversible”. In reaction to this, the Greens, who pledged to end oil and gas exploration immediately, saw a large surge in membership over the weekend.

However, no other party pledged to end exploration immediately, making the Greens an unpopular choice for a coalition. As the third largest exporter of gas in the world, Norway is determined not to give up one of their biggest exports just yet.

The Results

Norway’s conscience forced a change in government. The Greens tripled their representation in parliament, winning three seats. This is far from a majority, but it puts them in a position where they may be invited to form a coalition.

The Labour, Socialist and Centre parties won an overwhelming victory. They will be able to form a majority government with additional support available from the Red (Communist) Party and the Greens.

The Conservative and the Progress Party (Norwegian UKIP) lost many seats in Parliament.

It is the first time in seven decades that all Nordic countries have a left-sing government.

 

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