Conservatives prepare for value battle in the large cities
While Labour drops in the polls, Red and the Socialists grow in the large cities of Norway (if there is such a thing). “The left is being radicalised,” the Conservatives believes. The party announces a value struggle in Oslo and Bergen.
The aim of the Conservatives in the upcoming municipal elections is to ensure that half of Norway’s population lives in the Conservative-controlled municipalities. If they are to achieve that, they must regain power in the capital and Bergen from the red-green alliance.
The battle for the voters is, however, likely to be fierce. In the last poll for Oslo, the red-green alliance is in position to retain the majority, even though the Conservatives is by far the largest party. That applies to Bergen as well, but there no block has the majority.
The change from the previous municipal elections is, that Labour is considerably smaller, while the potential support parties, Red and the Socialists have grown considerably.
There is every reason to warn against this, the Conservatives warns. The party informs that they will squeeze this lemon dry in the upcoming election campaign.
“The left is radicalised and the fronts hardens. Traditional ideological differences become much more important than during the last election,” Leader candidate of the Conservatives as Bergen City Councillor, Harald Victor Hove, tells NTB.
Håve together with his colleagues in Oslo, Stavanger and Trondheim will emphasise the differences in values between the bourgeois and a radicalised red-green block during the election campaign.
“We are committed to preserving diversity and freedom of choice with good private solutions in kindergartens and nursing homes. The left is chronically concerned with dismantling this through purchasing private kindergartens, remunicipalisation and tightening of private agreements. It will make everyday life more difficult for most people, ”continues Hove.
Support party trouble
If they succeed conveying their message, the Conservatives can both “steal” voters from Labour and boost their potential partners, the Christian Democrats, Liberals and Progress Party through an obviously joint cause.
Both, perhaps especially the latter, will be important if the Conservatives are to achieve a change of the guard in Oslo and Bergen.
“The Conservatives do well and are by far the largest. The challenge is that the other parties on the bourgeois side do not deliver as well as we had hoped for,” Leader Candidate for the Conservatives in Oslo, Eirik Lae Solberg, tells NTB.
He still believes that it is quite possible to overthrow Raymond Johansen (Labour) in the Norwegian capital.
“The bourgeois parties have shown that they can mobilize before. At this time in 2017, no one thought we were going to win the election, but Erna Solberg is the Prime Minister og a bourgeois majority government,” Lae Solberg points out.
One of the reasons for the optimism of the candidate is decisions made by the Conservative National Convention at Gardermoen. There, the county group from Oslo won through in a number of important issues, Lae Solberg emphasises.
“I am very pleased that we adopted a major investment in public transport in and around the large cities, and made it clear that we will continue the electric car benefits. Good solutions for practical and environmentally friendly transport will be one of the most important issues in this municipal election,” he explains.
The public transport decision also pleases Hove in Bergen. He hopes Prime Minister Erna Solberg will bring this message with her and implement more public funding in the National Transport Plan.
“We want more focus on buses and development of the tram system. With more state funding, we don’t have to charge higher tolls to do so. I look forward to spreading this happy message to the voters in Bergen!” he exclaims.
Hove has the first-hand experience with the toll resistance in the large cities. The People’s Action against more tolls (FNB), gained more mandates than the Liberals and the Christian Democrats seen together in the latest poll in Bergen. That poll was first published in Bergens Tidende.
If the election results this autumn correspond to this poll, The Conservatives, in addition to persuading the Christian Democrats and Liberals to switch partners, would have to secure support from the FNB to regain control of the city council. Hove opens the door for dialogue with the party. He, however, warns against voting for the single issue party.
“My point of departure is that I will talk with anyone who wants a different course for Bergen,” he concludes.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today