Norwegian Election 2021: The country prepares to welcome a centre-left coalition to government

A vicious election season saw a tight victory for the Arbeiderpartiet (Labour Party) at 27% of the votes and 29% of the seats. This centre-left party will primarily look into coalition talks with the Center and Socialist Left parties, but has yet to rule out an alliance with the one-seat Green Party.

Campaign and run-up to this election

Norway is typically hailed as a world leader for climate change, thanks to its commitments and enhancements of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, and various domestic policies across their many cities.

However, its lucrative oil industry begs to differ.

Norway is the largest West-European exporter of oil, with 69% of the country’s oil production exported in 2016. This leads to an ingenuine figure when ranking the country’s climate action, as their oil exports are not counted.

The previous Høyre (Conservative) government lead by two-time election winner, PM Erna Solberg outright refused to date the end of Norway’s oil exports, as it is such a major contributor to the country’s economy. This has been a tense topic of debate during the election season, with only the Green Party committing to an end of oil exploration, in line with advice from the International Energy Agency.

This led to a slump in the polls for the Conservative Party, who were reliant on Solberg’s warm personality to carry them through the election season. They also took a hit in April when she was fined for breaching her own country’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Election result

Monday 13th September saw election polls close at 20:00. By 23:10, PM Solberg conceded defeat and called the incoming Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, to congratulate him.

Incoming Prime Minister and leader of Arbeiderpartiet, Jonas Gahr Støre | Image: Javad Parsa / NTB

The new government has announced they are eager to enter alliance talks with various smaller parties, including the Centre and Socialist Left Party. They haven’t ruled out the inclusion of the Green Party, but the refusal of the Labour party to date the end to fossil fuel exploration will make the Greens reluctant to do so.

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