Opposition expected to win parliamentary election in oil-rich Norway

Photo: AP

Norway was voting on Monday on the final day of a parliamentary election dominated by climate change and economic inequality, with the centre-left opposition widely expected to replace a Conservative-led government that has ruled for eight years, Reuters reported. Norway's status as a major oil and gas producer has been at the centre of the campaign though a transition away from petroleum - and the jobs it creates - is likely to be gradual whoever wins.

Opinion polls show Labour is on course to replace Prime Minister Erna Solberg's coalition but would need support from at least two more parties to secure a majority of seats, setting the stage for post-election bargaining. "Our policies are working, employment is going up ... so we should continue them," Solberg told reporters after voting in her hometown of Bergen.

The person projected to become the next prime minister, Labour leader Jonas Gahr Stoere, hopes Labour, the Centre Party and the Socialist Left will between them win a majority and form a government. Like Solberg, he wants to give oil firms time to adapt their engineering prowess gradually to pursue green technologies such as offshore wind turbines.

"I believe that calling time on our oil and gas industry is the wrong industrial policy and the wrong climate policy," Stoere told reporters on Sunday after casting his ballot on the first day of the election. But polls show he could become dependent on either the Red Party, which wants social reforms based on Marxist ideology, or the Green Party, which wants to shut down all of Norway's oil production by 2035.

Ruling in a minority could also be an option for Labour. Stoere says his government would focus on cutting the country's CO2 emissions in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement, but has rejected any ultimatum over energy policy.

If he wins, Stoere has pledged to address inequality by cutting taxes for low- and middle-income families and hiking rates for the rich.


Similar articles

  • UK issues 5,000 temp visas to lorry drivers

    UK issues 5,000 temp visas to lorry drivers

    UK vowed to issue urgently at least 5,000 temporary visas for European lorry drivers in a move to resolve an acute labour shortage that may undermine the key Christmas shopping campaign, Reuters reported. However local business leaders warned that the government emergency measures are not sufficient and would not lead to a long-term resolution of the supply bottlenecks that put pressure on retailers.

  • Iceland votes in crucial elections

    Iceland votes in crucial elections

    Iceland votes on Saturday in an election that could have an unpredictable outcome with a record of nine parties likely to enter the local parliament, making it very difficult to find common ground on topics like climate change and healthcare, Reuters reported. The northern island has some 371,000 citizens and has enjoyed a period of stability since 2017 under the ruling left-right coalition, after years of political scandals and distrust of politicians following the financial crisis in 2008.

  • UK starts replacing EU regulations

    UK starts replacing EU regulations

    Britain is to begin replacing or scrapping EU regulations that were copied into British law before EU divorcet, Brexit minister David Frost said. To avoid uncertainty and confusion as Britain left the EU after 40 years, the government automatically carried thousands of EU laws and regulations into British law so that they would still apply after Brexit.