DND Norwegian Elections Report
Norwegian National Election 2021 shows a big gain by the Left-Wing Bloc and the completed accounting shows the turnout of 76.5% which is 2.4% less than the previous election of 2017.
In this election, eight members of immigrant’s origin have been elected to the parliament. Three of them among these eights are of Pakistani origins. Two are of Iranian refugee origin, one of Kurds origin, one of Somali origin and one of Iraqi refugee origin.
It is a dramatic situation in the history of Norwegian politics that the Christian People’s Party dropped under 4% for the first time in the history of the party’s existence.
The Labour Party has emerged as the largest party on the Left Wing side. It is now the largest single party in the Parliament with 26.4% of the total votes polled in the election. However, a comparative study indicates Labour Party did a poor performance if compares with the 2017 results.
Election results indicate a clear divide between the urban and rural areas. The urban areas voting for the environmental friendly parties and the rural area mostly the agricultural belt voting for the Farmers party.
The results of elections are as expected because pre-election public opinion polls indicated a big gain by the left-wing Bloc consisting of five parties. The left-wing Bloc consisting of five parties was able to secure 100 seats out of 169 seats in the parliament, with Labour (48), Farmers party (28), Socialist left party (13), Red party (8) and the green party (3).
The popularity of the labour party dropped by 1%. Despite the decreased popularity and loss of one seat, the labour party will hold the post of the prime minister incoming government. The winner of the election is as expected the farmer’s party with a gain of 3.3% compared to the election of 2017 and ended up with 13.7% of total casted votes in this election. The Farmers party is now the 3rd largest party in the Norwegian parliament.
The third-party on the left the Socialist left party ended up at 7.5% with a gain of 1.4% compared to the election of 2017. The Red party mostly doubled its strength with a gain of 2.3% and ended up at 4.7%. The Red party has become historical by being the first party to reach the 4% line of margin since its introduction in 2005. The crossing of the 4% line of margin enables the parties to take a share in the proportional representation in the parliament.
The green party was unable to cross the 4% line of margin this time too and ended up at 3,8% of total casted votes and was able to secure only 3 seats in parliament.
The results of the election are indicating a clear divide between the urban and rural areas. The urban areas voting for the environmental friendly parties and the rural area mostly the agricultural belt voting for the Farmers party. The farmer party and the rural area voters are traditional of anti-centralization sentiment. Therefore, it was expected that this election will boost the Farmers party. Because the merger of counties two years back was considered as the centralization of power by the sitting government. Resentment against the merger of various counties was enormous in the rural area. The other issue resulting in the gain for the Farmers party was its anti-EU stance. The party is consider Red as the bulwark against the centralization of power to Brussels having a negative impact on Norwegian agriculture and the fishery industry.
Despite being the 3rd largest and having the support of 13.6% of voters at the national level the Farmers party is without any representation from the capital city of Oslo. The party did not even win a single seat from the biggest city in Norway. This indicates the divide of voters between urban and rural areas.
The labour party as the largest party and as a senior partner with the post of prime minister in the coming coalition government was more than satisfied with sustaining the support of voters above 26%. Because the party has been struggling with much lower support in public opinion polls. The labour party has been celebrating the result as a victory due to the possibility of getting the premiership in a new government. Having said it, it will be interesting to state that the result of this election is the worst in the history of the labour party’s existence. The labour party has never been under 27% before.
The results of the election is indicating that there is going to be formed a three-party coalition government consisting of Labour, Farmer and the socialist left party.
This three-party coalition government has been the priority of Labour party leader Jonas Gahr Støre, the coming prime minister.
These three parties have also indicated that they are willing to be part of a three-party coalition although they did not state it clearly during the election.
The probability of this three-party coalition is also determined by the fact that this coalition having a clear majority in the parliament with 89 out of 169 seats.
It seems clear that the Red party will not be part of the left-wing Bloc government although the party will give the vote of confidence to the three-party coalition. The Red party will try to reach none binding agreement with the coalition to establish the rules of cooperation in the parliament. The same will be the case with the green party. Although the coalition or a minority government will not be depending on them it is quite normal in Norwegian politics to show magnanimity towards the junior supporting parties.
The main reason for the Red party to avoid participation in the coalition government is the party’s stance of being anti-Nato and a lot of deviation from the Norwegian security and foreign policy consensus.
There is a possibility to see a three-party coalition government but it will depend on the negotiation among these three parties. There might be a slight chance of that they do not reach a common political platform charted together and then we might end up with the minority government consisting of two parties or labour party alone. But the chances for that are very small.
The one thing is sure and that is that there is going to be a new government and the new prime minister is Jonas Gahr Støre from Labour Party.
The sitting coalition government headed by prime minister Solberg faced a huge defeat in the election. One of the junior partners in the government the Christian people’s party did not even reach the 4% line of margin and ended up with only 3 seats in the parliament and secured only 3.8% of total casted votes.
The sitting coalition government parties were able to secure only 47 seats out of 169 seats in the parliament. The right-wing conservative party of sitting prime minister had the largest drop in the election with 4.6% down compared with the election of 2017. The conservative party ended up at 20.5% (36 seats) of total casted votes. The progressive party on the right-wing Bloc of Norwegian politics had the second-largest drop in this election down 3,5%. The progressive party which is considered anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic ended up at 11.7% (21 seats) of the total polled votes and was degraded from 3rd largest to 4th largest party in the parliament.
The liberal party, which was the 3rd party in the sitting government was the only party with a slight gain of 0.1% compared to the previous election of 2017. Party sustained its 8 seats in the parliament.
It seems that the sitting government was outvoted due to the impression of being a weak government without a clear majority in the parliament. The government’s performance during the corona pandemic was also considered very poor among the voters. At the same time, the opposition against the privatisation by the left parties on the left make them gain more support among the voters.
It is difficult to ascertain the exact issue, which was decisive for the outcome of this election. There was an indication that the environmental issue might be the one. But taking into account the green party running short of reaching the 4% line of margin, it’s hard to say that it mattered. The environmental issue was only relevant in the big cities but did not attract voters at the national level. If we look at the support of green we will see that 40% of total secuRed votes are from the big cities like Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim.
The outcome of the Norwegian election is status quo as far as it concerns the Norwegian foreign and security policy. With the exception of two parties on left, the overwhelming majority of parties in the parliament are the supporter of Norwegian consensus on the foreign and security policy. That means the policy of following the USA and Nato in international affairs.
It is difficult to say whether they will be able to serve their communities of origin. So far with the exception of a Somali woman, the majority of these immigrant’s politicians distance themselves from their culture and the country of origin. They sometimes appear more critical to their culture and country of origin than the Norwegian politicians. Very often they pretend to themselves more Catholic than the Pope.