ANALYSIS: What will happen in the Norwegian election on Monday?

The Norwegian election is upon us, with voters heading to the ballot boxes across the country on Monday. So, what do the latest polls say, and what's likely to happen? 

ANALYSIS: What will happen in the Norwegian election on Monday?
Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre could be Norway's next prime minister. Photo by Arbeiderpartiet/Flickr

Voters cast their decision on who should be in Norway’s next government.

Currently, it looks like a new government is on the cards after eight years of right-wing rule led by the Conservative Party’s Erna Solberg. 

Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre is the man tipped by the polls and commentators to take over the hot seat and form a “red-green” coalition. Below, we’ll take a look at what the polls are looking like and what’s likely to happen.

If you want to catch up on our election coverage, whether its our jargon-busting vocabulary guide or everything you need to know about the parties you can click here

What do the polls say? 

Below we’ve put a chart together using data from TV2/Kantars latest opinion poll. You can use the chart to see what percentage of votes the parties are predicted to get, how many MPs the parties are projected to have elected, and how this compares to the 2017 election. 

What does this all mean? 

In short, this means that Jonas Gahr Støre is still on course to become Norway’s next PM. However, Labour’s dreams of securing a majority coalition with the Centre Party and Socialist Left Party appears to be in the balance. Instead, they may potentially be dependent on either the Red Party or Green Party to get into government. TV2’s latest poll gives Labour’s preferred coalition a predicted slim majority of 86.  

For Erna Solberg and the Conservatives, it’s bad news. The party appears to be losing voters and potential seats to both the Centre Party and the Liberals. In addition, potential coalition partners, the Christian Democrats and Progress Party, have seen a significant dip in support since the last election. In contrast, the parties on the left have gained support. 

Recent polls don’t make great reading for Solberg. Photo by Stortinget/Flickr

“With both centre parties over the limit, the governing parties potential of being reelected is greatly reduced,” election analyst Terje Sørensen told TV2

Voters have also been migrating from the Conservatives to Labour, which should get Støre’s party over the line come election day. 

“As long as this doesn’t change, then Labour’s chances still seem solid,” Sørensen said. 

For the Centre Party, there’s both good news and bad news. The good news is that it looks like support is stabilising, following a collapse in August. The bad news is that their dream of governing with just themselves and Labour seems dead in the water, and they will have to accept the support of other parties to govern. 

Will Labour, the Centre Party and Socialist Left Party be able to form a majority?

Labour are on course to return their worst individual results since 1924. Despite this, Labour, the Socialist Left Party and Centre Party are still on the path to form a majority government by the finest of margins. 

Should Labour’s preferred combination drop seats compared to the polls predictions, they may depend on either or both the Red Party and Green Party to secure a majority.

Labour deputy leader Hadia Tajik has said the party hasn’t been happy with recent poll results and told newspaper VG that its main aim is to secure a majority with its preferred coalition. 

“We have higher ambitions than this and will work hard to show that a Labour-led government will prioritise work for all and a welfare state that does not depend on where you live or the size of your wallet. The Labour Party aims to sit in government with the Socialist Left Party and the Centre Party. It is our ambition to get a majority with them,” Tajik told the newspaper.

Interestingly, Støre’s hopes of becoming PM will be boosted if the Red Party and Green Party fail to meet the four percent levelling seats threshold. This means the two parties will be awarded less seats through the levelling system which rewards parties that win a lot of votes nationwide, but not many seats outright. 

“For Støre, everything will be much easier if two or three of the parties fighting against the barrier fall below it,” Sørensen explained. 

This would transfer more seats to Labour and their mooted coalition partners. If both the Red Party and Green Party over-perform and meet the threshold, Labour would need to broker deals with them to secure a majority, or the support to form a government.

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Norway says it hasn’t breached treaty by blocking Russian cargo to Svalbard

Norway is not breaching a century-old treaty covering the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard by blocking Russian cargo to the islands, the country's foreign minister said Wednesday after Moscow threatened retaliatory measures.

Norway says it hasn't breached treaty by blocking Russian cargo to Svalbard

“Norway does not violate the Svalbard Treaty,” foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt told AFP. “Norway does not try to put obstacles in the way of supplies” to a Russian coal mining settlement in the area, she said, after Russia’s foreign ministry said it had summoned Norway’s charge d’affaires over the issue.

Moscow accused Norway of disrupting the work of the Russian consulate general on Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Norway has sovereignty over Svalbard but allows citizens of more than 40 countries to exploit the islands’ potentially vast resources on an equal footing.

Moscow has long wanted a bigger say in the archipelago — which it insists on calling Spitsbergen rather than the Norwegian Svalbard – which has been a haunt of its hunters, whalers and fishermen since the 16th century. The Svalbard Treaty handing sovereignty to Norway was signed in 1920.

Huitfeldt argued the shipment that was stopped at the Norwegian-Russian border “has been stopped on the basis of the sanctions that prohibit Russian road transport companies from transporting goods on Norwegian territory”.

Goods transport “does not have to go via mainland Norway by Russian truck”, she said, suggesting other solutions could be found to supply the mining community.

Svalbard was exempt from a ban on port calls by Russian-flagged vessels, “and we have clearly signalled our willingness to consider a dispensation from the flight ban”, the minister said.

The situation in the town of Barentsburg, home to the Russian miners, was “normal”, she said.

“Residents have access to food and medicine,” Huitfeldt said. “It is not Norwegian policy to try to force Russian companies or citizens away from Svalbard, or to put obstacles in the way of the business that takes place in accordance with Norwegian laws and regulations.

“At the same time, Norway’s necessary reaction to Russia’s war in Ukraine may also have practical consequences for Russian companies on Svalbard, as in Norway in general,” Huitfeldt said.