Norway’s centre-left coalition government are on course to return to power according to official projections made with virtually all of the votes counted. It would mean the labour leader Jens Stoltenberg would be returned to power but – just like last time in 2005 – with a slim majority.
The electorate appears to have shown that his handling of the financial crisis has found more favour than the centre-right opposition plans. With 95 per cent of the votes counted – the Ministry of Local and Regional government projected a wafer-thin majority for the existing coalition of Labour, the Socialist Left and the greens of the Centre Party. The centre-right opponents are reckoned to end up slightly better off than 2005, but obviously still short of the winning line. The right wing Progress Party – which wants to spend far more of Norway’s oil wealth – appears to have roughly maintained the support it won at the 2005 election. As the biggest single party in the opposition, they are reckoned to have improved somewhat on last time. The Conservative Party did particularly well on the night having been projected to increase their representation in Parliament by almost 30 per cent. Economists had feared that plans among some of the opposition to spend the country’s oil money freely would spark inflation and damage the economy by strengthening Norway’s currency.