The 2017 Norwegian election

By Bernt Aardal and Johannes Bergh.
Although the Storting election of 11 September 2017 reduced the number of seats backing the incumbent conservative government, it still gave the two governing parties and their supporting centre-right parties a parliamentary majority. Thus, Prime Minister Solberg’s premiership will continue after the election. In the previous period, the government could secure a parliamentary majority with either of the two centrist parties; the Liberal Party or the Christian Democrats. After the 2017 election, they will need the support of both parties to secure a majority, unless they can get help from one or more of the centre-left opposition parties. When Solberg formed her government back in 2013, the populist right-wing Progress Party entered government for the first time. Even Progress Party leaders feared that they would lose support from anti-establishment voters. Poor turnout at the 2015 local election did not bode well.1 However, the Progress Party did far better in the 2017 national elections and lost only 1.1 percentage points and two seats compared with the 2013 election. A major success factor for the Progress Party was the attention given to immigration issues during the election campaign (see below). At the previous election, in 2013, the Green Party won a seat for the first time, increasing the number of parties in parliament from seven to eight.2 In 2017, the far-left Red Party increased the number of parties from eight to nine.3 Despite the re-election of the incumbent government, the election signalled a shift to the left, even to the left of the Labour Party. (West European Politics, vol.4, No. 5: 1208-1216)