Norway’s Labor Party lost over 5,000 members last year

Jonas Gahr StørePhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB

The number of Labor Party members (AP) fell by as much as 10% last year. Party secretary Kjersti Stenseng blames the coronavirus crisis.

At the end of the year, the Labor Party had 44,918 members, down 5,149 from 50,067 members in 2019.

The number of members has fallen every year since 2015, and the Labor Party has also suffered in voter opinion polls. 

However, party secretary Kjersti Stenseng believes that the negative trend is the result of social distancing.

“It has been a different year for the organization and our members, and even though we have worked well via digital platforms, we can not replace being out and meeting people. It has also made it demanding to recruit new members,” she said.

Stenseng also pointed out that 2,048 people joined the Labor Party in 2020.

Several parties lost members in 2020

The Labor Party is not alone in losing members lat year.

The Christian Democrats (KRF) lost 1,370 members in 2020 and ended at party 18,582 members at the turn of the year. 

According to the newspaper Dagen, since the leadership election in 2018, the KRF has lost over 5,000 members.

Furthermore, the number of members of the Conservative Party (H) fell by 1,328 to 28,362 in 2020. 

Organization manager Sigrun Strømsøyen Gudevang still believes that the situation has been fairly stable over the past six years, with membership numbers that have been around or just under 30,000.

“Now we enter an election year. The Conservatives have good support, and many voters are satisfied with the government’s efforts,” she noted.

In the Liberal Party (V), the number of members fell by 65 to 6,325 in 2020.

“We are pleased that we have stabilized the number of members in the Liberal Party after several years of decline,” Secretary-General Marit H. Meyer noted.

Membership records

On the other hand, several other parties set membership records in 2020.

The Center Party (SP) experienced membership growth for the seventh year in a row. At the beginning of 2021, the party had 20,259 members, up 137 from the previous year.

“Ahead of this year’s parliamentary elections, which may see the Center Party’s best result ever, it gives us extra strength to have more and more members on the team. 

“The growth in membership shows that people have had enough of the health service, police, local NAV offices, tax offices, and district courts being centralized,” party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum noted.

The Socialist Left Party’s (SV) membership increased by 96 to 15,291.

The Red Party set a new record with a total of 10,533 members.

The Green Party’s (MDG) membership increased by 347 to 10,305, also a new record.

However, the largest membership growth in absolute numbers was registered by the Progress Party (FRP), which entered 2021 with 17,258 members, an increase of 1,523 members from 2019.

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

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