Foreign policy is conspicuous by its absence in the election campaign

Børge BrendeMinister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende (Conservative Party).Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Foreign policy is not prioritised in the election campaign, NUPI states. But 15 percent of voters actually say they are most concerned with international politics.


The Norwegian Foreign Policy Institute (NUPI), in cooperation with SENTIO, has conducted an investigation into the importance of foreign policy for party elections.
The poll shows that foreign policy matters, and is important for around 850,000 of the voters.
Norwegians are most concerned with national politics, but quite a few are also concerned with local politics and international politics.
15 percent of voters state that they are most concerned with international politics.
1 out of 3 voters want foreign policy to play a stronger role in the election campaign.
For 2 out of 3 voters, foreign policy plays a role for party elections. For 1 in 4 it plays an important role.
Young people are more concerned with international politics than older ones. Frp and Sp voters are least interested, while the interest in foreign policy issues is highest in Rødt, MDG and Venstre.
Those with high education are particularly concerned with foreign policy.
Different credibility
The survey also shows that different parties have different credibility in foreign policy.
The Right and Labor Party is highly credible in foreign policy, followed by Frp, Sp and KrF. The parties with least credibility are MDG and SV.
The survey also shows that voters are quite satisfied with their own party. In general, the parties on the right side of the policy consider the other parties as little credible and vice versa.
According to NUPI, this has changed since a similar survey in 2013, when AP and H had quite high credibility in foreign policy, also amongst their political opponents.
In the 2017 elections, there are particular extremes in the right/left scale, which consider each other as less credible.
Block Tensions
NUPI also points out that there are tendencies of tension within the political blocks. For example, there are few of the Ap voters who believe that Sp has high credibility in foreign policy, but even fewer Sp-voters believe that Ap has high credibility.
KrF’s voters believe Frp has very low credibility. The same is the position of Frps voters when it comes to KrF, and even more when it comes to Venstre.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today