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Small parties could hold balance of power in Norway poll

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Small parties could hold balance of power in Norway poll


Early voting has started in parts of Norway for the parliamentary election but most of the country goes to the polls on Monday.

It is a tight race where small parties, such as the Communists or the far-right Progress Party could end up holding the balance of power. Norway is the world’s third biggest oil exporter and western Europe’s largest gas exporter and how that oil wealth should be spent is the campaign’s main debating point. Prime Minister Kjell Bondevik’s centre-right coalition is promising tax cuts. The left-wing Labour party, led by Jens Stoltenberg, wants to raise taxes and boost care for the elderly, education and jobs. Among the campaign promises from the Progress Party’s leader Karl Haggen is cutting immigration and spending oil money on buying Mediterranean holiday homes for elderly Norwegians. Its informal support has kept Bondevik in office since 2001 but it says it will no longer back him as prime minister after the vote. Opinion polls show no clear leader and many Norwegians say they have not yet made up their minds.
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