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Norway’s Progress Party strides forward in latest polls

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Norway’s Progress Party strides forward in latest polls
Progress Party leader and Minister of Finance Siv Jensen. Photo: Heiko Junge/NTB scanpix
15:07 CEST+02:00
The nationalist Progress Party (Fremskrittpartiet) has seen a significant increase in support, according to recent polls.

A new opinion poll puts the party up 4.2 points on a previous survey ahead of Norway’s general election, scheduled for September 11th this year.

“We have delivered,” the party’s leader Siv Jensen told news agency NTB after the poll, carried out in May by the Vårt Land newspaper, was published.

The poll puts support for the right-wing party close to the levels it enjoyed at the last general election in 2013, when it entered coalition government for the first time with Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s Høyre (Conservative) party.

READ ALSO: Norway populists win new immigration ministry

Support for the Progress Party received a boost from 11.7 percent to 15.9 percent between April and May, according to the poll.

The party received 16.3 percent of the votes in the 2013 election.

“This is very good. With almost four years in government many might have been predicting government fatigue, but we think we have kept a visible and clear profile during this time. We have delivered, despite being part of a minority government,” Jensen said.

The Liberal (Venstre) party is the only other party that saw a rise in support in the poll, scoring 3.1 percent, up from 2.1 percent in April.

This means the party remains under Norway’s four percent threshold for levelling seats (utjevningsmandater) – a system used in Scandinavian parliaments whereby extra seats are awarded to parties in addition to constituency seats, a mechanism designed to ensure parliamentary representation reflects the popular vote.

Venstre received 5.2 percent of the vote in 2013.

Høyre moved back 1.6 points in the poll, leaving it on a percentage of 22.7 percent. This would give the two coalition parties 73 of parliament’s 169 seats if an election were held today – four fewer than they currently hold.

The Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet), Norway’s biggest opposition party which lead the Red-Green coalition government prior to losing nine seats in the 2013 election, slipped 1.6 points to 31 percent. 

READ ALSO: Norway's Progress Party wants a burqini ban

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