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Norwegian Parliamentary Elections to Begin


Norwegian Parliamentary Elections to Begin

Erna Solberg
Photo: Marit Hommedal/NTB Scanpix

Voters across Norway will head to the polls today to elect members of parliament.

All 169 seats in Norway’s unicameral legislature are up for grabs. The country is currently governed by a 61-seat Conservative Party-led coalition. The center-left Labor Party holds the most seats among opposition parties with 48.

COVID-19, climate change and the future of Norway’s large oil industry have dominated the campaign. Norway is Western Europe’s largest oil producing country and the fifteenth largest producer in the world. As such, debate has centered on the extent to which Norway should divest from oil. The question has been further complicated by the global economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw Norway privatize key aspects of its welfare state-structured economy.

Opinion polls have suggested that the Conservatives are likely to lose seats today to Labor and its allies. In the short term, the formation of a government will depend on the extent of these gains and losses, in addition to Labor’s ability to form a coalition with the country’s smaller parties. In the medium term, should a Labor-led coalition form a government, anticipate further debate and divisions over the oil question and longer-term plans proposed addressing petroleum divestment.

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