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KEY POINTS: What to expect from Norway's local elections on Monday 

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
KEY POINTS: What to expect from Norway's local elections on Monday 
Local elections are being held in Norway on Monday, September 11th. Pictured is a file photo of election campaigners in 2017. Photo: KYRRE LIEN / AFP

Monday is local election day in Norway, so if you want to know what's likely to happen, the key policy issues and whether the weather will affect the outcome, then read on.

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Municipal and county elections were being held in Norway on Monday. Poll stations will remain open until 9pm, with results trickling in soon after. 

A record 4.3 million people are eligible to vote in the elections, as foreign residents who have lived in the country for more than three years before the election are eligible to partake

Of the eligible voters, a record 1.27 million voted before advance voting closed on Friday, September 8th. 

Polling stations began to reopen on Sunday, and there will be 1,879 locations across the country where residents can cast their votes. A complete overview of polling stations for those wishing to vote is available on the Norwegian Directorate of Elections's website. 

Conservatives on course for largest share of the vote in national or local elections since 1924

The Conservative Party in Norway are likely to get largest share of the vote in national or local elections since 1924, according to a poll conducted for broadcaster TV 2

The party is on track to receive 25.6 percent of the vote, an increase of 5.5 percentage points compared to the last local elections in 2019. Meanwhile, the Labour Party are on course to deliver its worst election results - both local and national - since 1924. 

The Centre Party are on track to be the election's biggest loser. Compared to the 2019 election, the party will suffer a 6.5 percentage point drop in the share of the votes. 

The Red Party and Socialist Left Party are on track to make gains of 0.9 percentage points and 2.1 percentage points. The Labour Party is expected to suffer a decline of around 3.9 percent points. The Green Party is another party the polls expect to lose out. The poll predicts its support will slip by 2.4 percentage points. 

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The Liberal Party (1.2 percentage points), the Christian Democratic Party (0.5 percentage points), and the Progress Party (3.2 percentage points) are expected to make gains. The Industry and Business Party, formed in 2020, could receive 3.2 percent of the vote. 

READ ALSO: How does Norway's system for the local elections work?

The most important issues surrounding the elections

Elderly care has been the most important topic for 13 percent of voters, according to a survey carried out for newspaper VG

Whether elderly care should be privatised has been one of the main talking points of the elections in a number of areas where local authorities are solely responsible for care homes.

Health and hospitals, climate and environment, and taxes and fees were other topics on voters' minds this election. All issues had an 11 percent share of voters saying they were the most important issue to them. 

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The Local has broken down the most significant election issues, Bergen and Oslo, which range from massive public transport projects to taxes and kindergartens. 

Change of leadership and tight race are on the cards in several cities

In the capital, the latest polls from VG indicate that Raymond Johansen's time as the Governing Mayor of Oslo is almost at an end. 

Currently, the parties in charge of the city council, the Labour Party, Socialist Left Party and Green Party, are only on course to receive 28 of the 30 required seats to secure a majority. 

The Conservative Party is one seat short of securing a majority with the support of the Progress Party, Liberal Party and Christian Democratic Party.

A dead heat is also expected in Bergen, where no bloc has a majority, according to VG's polling. There, 34 seats are required for a majority.

One of the smaller parties, such as the Industry and Business Party and Bergenslisten, could prove decisive and wield power as a potential king-maker. A single seat could tip the scales either way and usher in a new Conservative-led leadership or ensure that the Labour-led council serves another term. 

In a turnaround, a poll from NRK predicts that the Labour Party will become bigger than the Conservatives in Stavanger, in terms of total support. To secure a majority in Stavanger, 34 seats are required. The current governing parties (Labour, Socialist Left, Liberal and Christian Democratic) are only on course to receive 31 seats. 

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Before the sharp uptick in support for Labour in Stavanger, an earlier poll predicted a right-wing block to return 38 seats. 

In Trondheim, the Conservative Party-led block could return 33 of the 34 required seats needed for a majority. The party could try and enlist the Centre Party to secure the majority. Meanwhile, the Labour-led coalition, including the Centre Party, would only receive 30 seats and will rely on other parties to try and cling to power. 

The weather could lead to a healthy turnout… 

And finally, researchers believe that the weather on Monday could correspond to a healthy turnout. 

According to research, grey weather means more people feel like doing their civic duty. With much of the country expecting grey and wet weather on Monday, a good voter turn out could be on the cards. 

"We see that people choose to do their civic duty when there is a bit of grey in the air," climate researcher at the Meteorological Institute, Hans Olav Hygen, told NRK

Jo Thori Lind, a professor of economics at the Univeristy of Oslo, told NRK that voters who favoured the Conservatives were more likely to head to the ballots when it was grey. 

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