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NORWAY

Two interesting opinion polls out of Norway ahead of the parliamentary election to take place in September 2021.

  • Norstat: Conservative Party: 22% (-3), Labour Party: 21%, Centre Party: 21% (+1), Progress Party: 12%, Socialist Left Party: 8% (+1), Green Party: 4%, Christian Democratic Party: 4% (+2), Red Party: 3% (-2), Liberal Party: 3%, +/- vs.17-22 Nov 2020, Fieldwork: 7-13 Dec 2020, Sample size: 952
  • Ipsos: Centre Party: 22% (+4), Labour Party: 21% (-1), Conservative Party: 19% (-1), Progress Party: 13% (+1), Socialist Left Party: 8% (+1), Green Party: 4% (-1), Christian Democratic Party: 4% (+1), Red Party: 4% (+1), Liberal Party: 4% (-1), +/- vs. 16-18 Nov 2020, Fieldwork: 14-16 Dec 2020, Sample size: 1,000
  • While there are still several months to go before the vote, the expectation of a two-horse race between PM Erna Solberg's centre-right Conservatives and the main opposition centre-left Labour Party has been disrupted by a jump in support for the agrarian, eurosceptic Centre Party.
  • The Centre Party has most recently served in gov't alongside Labour under the premiership of now-NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. However, should the Centre Party be able to convert its strong polling at present into seats come September, it could be in a position where leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum seeks to lead the gov't.
  • Depending on the formation of the coalition or minority gov't, this could have major implications for the Norwegian economy and its foreign relations. The Centre Party, as well as the left-wing Socialist Left Party, are in favour of Norway's withdrawal from the EU single market, which Norway has been a part of since 1994 with the establishment of the European Economic Area despite not being an EU member state.
  • However, barring massive overperformance from the Centre Party, it is unlikely that there would be a parliamentary majority in favour of EEA withdrawal, with the Centre and Socialist Left Parties likely relying on support from the right-wing populist Freedom Party, hardly a cohesive governing coalition. The two 'main' political parties, the Conservatives and Labour, are both in favour of continued EEA membership, making a majority for withdrawal difficult to muster in parliament.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-0981 | tom.lake@marketnews.com