Norway’s smaller parties made big gains across the country in the 2019 local elections. The results leave the Labour Party clinging on to power in many of Norway’s biggest cities after their worst electoral night in generations.
The Greens in Oslo, the road toll protest party in Bergen, the collapse of support for Labour in their heartland of Trondheim. Wherever you look, there is a big story in Norway’s 2019 local elections.
The nationwide results
Not all the results are in, but the results so far show a stunning trend. Although these are municipal and county elections, it’s always expected that the main opposition party in Parliament will receive a boost. Not so.
All four of Norway’s governing parties lost votes compared to the last local elections. But the big surprise was the incredible fall in Labour Party (Ap) support all across the country. The pro-local, pro-rural, pro-farming Centre Party (Sp) were the biggest winners, finishing a clear third place in the popular vote.
Also polling well were two parties on opposing sides of the environment argument. The Green Party (MDG) took a lot of the urban vote, while the protest party People’s Action – No To More Road Tolls (FNB) recorded stunning success in Bergen.
On a night when several smaller parties are set for big gains in Norway’s nationwide local and county elections, some of the country’s biggest parties took a bruising. The first projected results show that all four governing parties lost votes, but it’s the main opposition Labour Party that are bracing themselves for a devastating result.
A new political landscape
“The fiery red thread is anger and protest. A dramatic signal that changes Norwegian politics,” said NRK’s politics correspondent Lars Nehru Sand, who described the overall results as Norway “giving the finger” to the establishment. VG said the vote leaves Norway with a new political landscape.
The agrarian Centre Party look set to beat three of the four ruling parties to finish a clear third place in the popular vote, while the Socialist Left and the far-left Red also made notable gains. Norway’s Green Party also recorded a major success. Their projected share of the vote is 6.7% in the local elections and 7.5% in the county elections, in both cases a rise of well over 50% from the last votes four years ago.
Despite the apparent success of the Green Party’s pro-environment campaign, there was also a significant backlash against road tolls in major cities. FNB, Norway’s protest party against road tolls, is projected to win influential numbers of seats on Bergen and Stavanger city councils with representation also in Oslo, a result set to temper the Green celebrations.