A new megatrend is emerging: Norwegians have less and less faith in privatization

Solberg 2013 governmentPhoto: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB
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During the last 20 years, both the opposition to government regulation and the belief that tasks are solved better and cheaper by private individuals has fallen sharply among Norwegians.

The data was revealed by an extensive socio-cultural Norsk Monitor survey from Ipsos, which measured attitudes in the Norwegian population over time.

“Apart from a change in belief in God, this is perhaps the biggest megatrend we can trace in Norwegians’ attitudes in the last 20 years,” project manager for Norsk Monitor John Spilling in Ipsos told news bureau NTB.

Clear minority after 20 years

While in 2001 as many as 69% of Norwegians fully or partially agreed with the statement that “there is too much state interference and regulation in today’s society,” the proportion fell to 38% in 2019.

And while in 2001, 64% fully or partially agreed with the statement that “many tasks would be better or cheaper solved if they were transferred from the public to private companies,” the share fell to 38% in 2019.

The data shows that the changes in attitudes related to state interference gained momentum in particular in the years after the Solberg government took office, with a fall of seven percentage points from 2013 to 2019.

Electorate moving to the left

Election researcher Johannes Bergh, who heads the election research program at the Department of Social Research, says the survey supports findings from the election survey in 2017, which showed that the electorate ideologically moved to the left between the elections in 2013 and 2017, despite the fact that the Solberg government was re-elected.

“We saw a shift towards the left in economic right-left-axis issues in general, both among young and old and among most party voters,” Bergh told NTB.

He noted that the cause might be complex.

“One reason is that we have had a government from the right (side of the political axis) since 2013, so it’s not uncommon for voters to react by going in the opposite direction, as a kind of corrective. It may also mean that there has been a development with less state interference and more privatization so that even if you previously thought there was too much state interference, you no longer experience it that way,” Bergh said.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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