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Norway's Conservatives may have to go into coalition with far-right party


Norway

Norway's Conservatives may have to go into coalition with far-right party

Conservative Erna Solberg is hotly-tipped to triumph in Norway’s general election – but she could have to form a coalition with a far-right party to get over the line.

She may have to talk to the anti-immigration Progress Party, which has been fighting to shake off its past links with extremist Andreas Brevik, who killed 77 people in 2011.

This is Norway’s first election since the atrocity

Solberg looks likely to replace Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s centre-left coalition, in office since 2005.

The Labour-led government has been accused of wasting a once-in-a-lifetime economic boom.

“For a country claiming to be one of the richest in the world, our health system is quite awful and the roads are terrible,” Oslo office clerk Marcus Holm said. “After eight years it’s just enough (of Stoltenberg).”

With a flourishing offshore oil sector filling state coffers and boosting per capita GDP to $100,000, Norway has enjoyed rare economic success even during Europe’s financial and economic crisis.

“We need more legs to stand on in the economy, not just oil,” said Solberg, 52, who cast her vote in Bergen on Sunday. “We are a liberal-conservative party, we do not make revolutions. This will be a road of small steps.”

The anti-immigration and anti-tax Progress Party is set to finish second among the opposition groups and will likely hold the balance of power.

Although Progress has toned down its rhetoric, it is seen by some as too radical for government.

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