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POLLS

Progress in shock Oslo poll slump

Norway’s anti-immigrant Progress party has hit rock-bottom in the polls in the capital Oslo, with just 5.4 percent of the city’s voters saying they will vote for the party.

Progress in shock Oslo poll slump
Carl Hagen has a job to do in the coming weeks. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

The party’s support has dropped a full 3.5 percentage points since June, according to the latest poll by Ipsos MMI, which was published in Dagbladet on Friday night. 



Carl Hagen, the former party leader, who is its lead candidate in Oslo in next month’s municipal elections, refused to be cowed. 



“I am a little surprised, yes. But it means we have a job to do in the coming weeks,” he told the paper. 



He warned of the costs of estimated 120,000 extra people from Africa and Asia expected to make their home in the capital in the coming years. 



According to the poll, the Conservatives are in the lead in the city with 32.1 percent, followed by Labor with 31.2. 



The compromises involved in coalition government have hit the party hard, eroding its support base. 



A poll by Respons Analyses last week gave the party the support of just 9.3 percent of voters nationally in the coming municipal elections, down 2.9 points since June. 

DRUGS

Norway politician charged for drugs and child abuse images

A former politician from Norway’s anti-immigration Progress Party has been charged with possession of illegal drugs and images of child abuse.

Norway politician charged for drugs and child abuse images
Police found 19 grams of MDMA. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix
The man, who is in his 40s, previously held positions in the party at both the national and local level, but stepped down after he was arrested in 2016. 
 
The politician’s defence lawyer Gunhild Lærum told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that she did not yet have a clear response from her client to the charge over the child abuse images. 
 
“We have not yet been able to look through this together,” she said. “He is slightly unsure if this is something he has downloaded consciously and willingly.” 
 
She said the identities of the children in the pictures were “completely unknown”. 
 
The man has been held in pre-trial detention for nearly two years, as police carried out a long-drawn out investigation after finding large quantities of drugs in his house in May 2016. 
 
“We are both pleased at least that something has finally happened in the case,“ Lærum said. 
 
When the police searched the man’s house in May 2016, they found 90 grams of amphetamine, 16 grams of cocaine, 19 grams of MDMA, 274 ml of GHB, 22 tablets containing clonazepam, four tablets containing diazepam, five tablets containing MDMA and two tablets containing mCPP. 
 
The man has already pleaded guilty to the drugs charges. 
 
“He has acknowledged that he had a problem and he is glad that it has been discovered and that he has managed to get over it. He has been helped for a long, long period now.” 
 
The case is scheduled to go to trial on September 4.