Norway’s centre-left coalition government are on course to return to power according to official projections based on more than 80 per cent of the votes counted.
It would mean the labour leader Jens Stoltenberg would be returned to power but 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. 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. Economists had feared that its desire to spend freely would spark inflation and damage the economy by strengthening Norway’s currency. In the run-up to the election, opinion polls had predicted a close result, and even with the majority of votes in, opposition leaders refused to concede defeat. The Conservative Party led by Erna Solberg did particularly well on the night – having been projected to increase their representation in parliament by almost 30 per cent.