Norway opposition expected to win election fought on oil, inequality

  • Final day of voting, polls close at 1900 GMT
  • Conservatives seen losing power after 8 years
  • Opposition Labour and allies widely expected to win
  • Debate over oil vs climate, inequality vs tax
  • Tough coalition talks await

Norway was voting on Monday on the final day of a parliamentary election dominated by climate change and economic inequality, with the centre-left opposition widely expected to replace a Conservative-led government that has ruled for eight years.

Sep 5, 2021: Norway’s discovery of oil in the 1960s transformed its economy. But with climate change emerging as a primary issue in this month’s parliamentary election, there are signs people are questioning the country’s reliance on crude. Fewer firms are now taking up Norway’s offers to drill for new oilfields in the Arctic. Al Jazeera’s Paul Rhys reports from the northern city of Hammerfest, Norway.

Norway’s status as a major oil and gas producer has been at the centre of the campaign though a transition away from petroleum – and the jobs it creates – is likely to be gradual whoever wins. read more

Opinion polls show Labour is on course to replace Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s coalition but would need support from at least two more parties to secure a majority of seats, setting the stage for post-election bargaining. read more

“Our policies are working, employment is going up … so we should continue them,” Solberg told reporters after voting in her hometown of Bergen.

The person projected to become the next prime minister, Labour leader Jonas Gahr Stoere, hopes Labour, the Centre Party and the Socialist Left will between them win a majority and form a government. read more

Like Solberg, he wants to give oil firms time to adapt their engineering prowess gradually to pursue green technologies such as offshore wind turbines.

“I believe that calling time on our oil and gas industry is the wrong industrial policy and the wrong climate policy,” Stoere told reporters on Sunday after casting his ballot on the first day of the election.

But polls show he could become dependent on either the Red Party, which wants social reforms based on Marxist ideology, or the Green Party, which wants to shut down all of Norway’s oil production by 2035.

Ruling in a minority could also be an option for Labour. Stoere says his government would focus on cutting the country’s CO2 emissions in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement, but has rejected any ultimatum over energy policy.

If he wins, Stoere has pledged to address inequality by cutting taxes for low- and middle-income families and hiking rates for the rich.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/norway-opposition-expected-win-election-fought-oil-inequality-2021-09-13/

Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

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