Norway votes: Here’s what to expect after the elections on Monday

Jonas Gahr Støre - Erna SolbergPhoto: Marit Hommedal / NTB

If the red-greens win the election, it could take weeks before we know what the new government will look like. 

Will the red-green trio consisting of the Labor Party (AP), the Center Party (SP), and the Socialist Left Party (SV), and the Socialist People’s Party take over after Solberg? Will the Center Party fulfill its dream of an AP/ SP government? Or will the AP rule alone?

All possibilities are on the table, and it is the voters who decide. But that does not mean that there will be post-election chaos on the left, election researcher Svein Erik Tuastad at the University of Stavanger noted.

“It is completely logical that the government issue has not been decided in advance. If the voters give more power to some parties, then this must be taken into account in the government negotiations. There must be some flexibility. It is the same thing that happens in every municipal election,” Tuastad told NTB.

An AP-only government?

The final government structure will depend on how many seats the various parties get.

“All three options are possible. But the Labor Party would probably rather have a three-party government, then they are guaranteed greater loyalty from their most important co-operation parties within the government,” Tuastad said.

At the same time, he believes the alternative of an AP-only government is underestimated.

“The Labor Party will have a good negotiating position alone. It would take a lot of effort for some of the parties on the center/left side to overthrow a Labor government,” the election researcher pointed out.

“Many of the divisive issues on the left are also about things where it is completely logical to make compromises, such as tax, climate, inequality, and refugees,” he added.

If there is a change of government, the outgoing government will continue working as a caretaker government until a new government is in place.

Refining demands

In any case, it could take a month or more before a new set of ministers is in place.

If the election result indicates a red-green three-party government, the parties will, as far as NTB knows, use the week after the election to refine their lists of demands for the new government platform.

In the following week, there will probably be talks at the party leader level before the actual negotiations begin. 

When the conservatives took over the government offices following the defeat of the red-greens in the elections of 2013, it took just over a month before the then Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (AP) formally resigned. Erna Solberg presented her first “blue” government five weeks after the election.

The government negotiations can thus be in full swing when the new Storting meets for the first time on Friday, October 1.

On October 13, the government will present the state budget for next year.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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