Christian Democrats (KrF) support at a standstill with Hareide at the helm
Knut Arild Hareide has failed to increase support for the Christian Democrats (Kristelig Folkeparti) during his six years as party leader. The cooperation agreement with the Government is somewhat to blame for the lessened support for KrF.
– The cooperation agreement has been a mixed experience. It has given us great impetus, but also created some wear and tear, the KrF leader said as the party summed up during a press conference before the summer.
– We are held accountable for things we have not participated in, such as in the recent agricultural settlement. It creates frustration among our members, he expands.
Now he hopes to mobilize those sitting on the fence and voters who sympathize with the party without voting for them. The party’s own background figures suggest that as many as 100,000 voters have the party as their second choice. By comparison, KrF got 158,475 votes during the 2013 election.
Hareide is uncontested as party leader, but the results show that he has not been able to lift KrF to the level of support it had under Dagfinn Høybråten’s leadership.
KrF achieved 5.7 per cent support in the previous parliamentary elections and achieved 5.6 and 5.4 per cent in municipal elections in 2011 and 2015. In recent months, the party has a 4.7 per cent support base on average in the polls.
– I naturally believe that we deserve more support, says Hareide, who denies that the Christian Democrats are reduced to a regional party for Christian core voters in Southern and Western Norway.
– We are a nationwide party, although we have an extra strength in southern and western Norway, he says.
Into the Government
KrF has had the Prime Minister three times and has been in seven Governments since the second world war. Now it’s twelve years since last time around.
– We have a completely different ambition than to enter into a new cooperation agreement. We want to be a part of the Government, says Hareide.
The KrF leader does not do as the Liberals leader, Trine Skei Grande, did last week. She more or less admitted that her party will continue their support to the Conservatives and the Progress Party, if there is no basis for a blue-green Government.
– Our answer is very simple. We want a KrF / Conservative Government with as many parties from the centre as possible. If we do not achieve that, we are most likely to be in opposition, Hareide states, going a long way to conclude that there is not going to be a new cooperation agreement.
Family, children and human dignity – These are the focus areas for KrF, something Hareide believes clearly has been reflected in this period.
He jazzed up the press conference at the popular night spot ‘Himkok’ (moonshine) in Oslo with a list of 50 select wins for KrF during this term. A National Program to combat violence against children and human trafficking is at the top of the list, which also includes everything from a porn committee and art scholarships to agreement on religious converts to national strategy for the preservation of wild bees.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today