2021 Norwegian parliamentary election

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2021 Norwegian parliamentary election
Norway
← 2017 13 September 2021 2025 →

All 169 seats in the Storting
85 seats needed for a majority
Turnout77.1% Decrease 1.1pp
Party Leader % Seats +/–
Labour Jonas Gahr Støre 26.3 48 -1
Conservative Erna Solberg 20.4 36 -9
Centre Trygve Slagsvold Vedum 13.5 28 +9
Progress Sylvi Listhaug 11.6 21 -6
Socialist Left Audun Lysbakken 7.6 13 +2
Red Bjørnar Moxnes 4.7 8 +7
Liberal Guri Melby 4.6 8 0
Green Une Aina Bastholm 3.9 3 +2
Christian Democratic Kjell Ingolf Ropstad 3.8 3 -5
Patient Focus Irene Ojala 0.2 1 New
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Norwegian Parliamentary Election 2021.svg
Storting2021-1.svg
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after election
Wil Lee-Wright foto Rein Traante2017 MG 0419 (32592903182).jpg Erna Solberg
Conservative
Jonas Gahr Støre
Labour
Jonas Gahr Støre - 25061469895 (cropped).jpg

Parliamentary elections were held in Norway on 13 September 2021.[1] All 169 seats in the Norwegian legislature, the Storting, were up for election.[2] The election was won by a coalition consisting of the social-democratic Labour Party and the agrarian Centre Party that entered into negotiations to form a government.[3][4] The election also resulted in a majority for the parties that seek to dissolve the unpopular and controversial Viken county.[5]

It saw a big win for the left-wing opposition in an election fought on climate change, inequality, and oil.[6] Late at night on 13 September, incumbent Conservative Party prime minister Erna Solberg conceded defeat.[7] Her party ended up with the second-largest number of representatives. Jonas Gahr Støre's Labour Party retained its position as Norway's largest party and expanded their lead in seats over the Conservatives, despite a slight drop in its share of votes and the loss of one seat.[2]

Støre was aiming to form a majority government with the Centre Party and the Socialist Left Party,[8][9] but the latter stated they would remain in opposition citing disagreements over climate and welfare policies,[10] while remaining open for future negotiations and to support the government on common grounds.[11] On 14 October, Støre became prime minister of a pro-oil[12] minority government, the Støre Cabinet.[13]

Background[edit]

2017 parliamentary election and aftermath[edit]

In the 2017 parliamentary election held on 11 September, Erna Solberg of the Conservatives retained her position as prime minister after four years in power. Her premiership additionally received the support of the Progress Party, the Liberals, and the Christian Democrats, who combined secured 88 of the 169 seats in parliament. The opposition, led by Jonas Gahr Støre and his Labour Party, won 81 seats. Other opposition parties included the Centre Party, Socialist Left, the Greens, and the Red Party.[14]

Christian Democratic Party government accession[edit]

The Christian Democrats voted at a party conference to join Solberg's government on 2 November 2018 and on 16 January 2019, Solberg's Conservatives struck a deal with the Christian Democratic Party. This marked the first time since 1985 that Norway would have a majority government representing right-wing parties in the Storting.[15][16]

Progress Party withdrawal from government[edit]

On 20 January 2020, the Progress Party decided to withdraw from the government due to a decision by Solberg to repatriate a woman linked to Islamic State and her children back to Norway. Despite this, Solberg said that she and her party would continue to head a minority government, and the other parties in the coalition (the Christian Democrats and the Liberals) have also stated they would continue to serve in it.[17][18][19]

Electoral system[edit]

The election used party-list proportional representation in nineteen multi-member constituencies.[20] The number of members to be returned from each constituency varies between 4 and 19. To determine the apportionment of the 169 seats amongst the 19 counties, a two-tier formula is used, based on population and geographic size. Each inhabitant counts one point, while each square kilometer counts 1.8 points.[20]

A total of 150 of the seats are regular district seats. These are awarded based on the election results in each county, and are unaffected by results in other counties. Nineteen of the seats (one for each county) are leveling seats, awarded to parties who win fewer seats than their share of the national popular vote otherwise entitles them to. A modification of the Sainte-Lague method, where the first quotient for each party is calculated using a divisor of 1.4 instead of 1, is used to allocate both the constituency and leveling seats. A party must win 4% of the popular vote in order to win compensation seats but may still win district seats even if it fails to reach this threshold. The system for apportioning seats is biased in favour of rural areas since the area of the county is a factor, but the system of compensation seats reduces the effect this has on final party strength.[20]

Electoral reform[edit]

On 21 June 2017, Solberg's Cabinet established a committee tasked with reviewing the electoral system used in Norwegian parliamentary elections.[21] The 17-member committee, which was led by court judge Ørnulf Røhnebæk [no], published its report on the electoral system on 27 May 2020.[22] The committee agreed that the number of seats should remain at 169. Furthermore, a majority of the committee favoured the retention of the current 19 constituencies, lowering the electoral threshold to 3% and the abolition of the two-tier formula for the apportionment of seats; however, the proposed reforms to the electoral law are planned to be implemented in 2022, meaning that they would only apply from the next parliamentary election in 2025. The reform of the counties and municipalities came into effect on 1 January 2021 and resulted in a reduction in the number of counties from 19 to 11;[23] the 19 constituencies no longer correspond to the county boundaries.[24]

Date[edit]

As the 2017 election was held on 11 September, the 2021 election was to be held on 13 September. According to the Constitution of Norway, parliamentary elections must be held every four years. The Norwegian parliament may not be dissolved before such a parliamentary four-year term has ended, which in practice makes snap elections impossible.[25]

Political parties[edit]

Name Ideology[26] Position Leader 2017 result
Votes (%) Seats
Ap Labour Party
Arbeiderpartiet
Social democracy Centre-left Jonas Gahr Støre 27.4%
49 / 169
H Conservative Party
Høyre
Liberal conservatism Centre-right Erna Solberg 25.0%
45 / 169
FrP Progress Party
Fremskrittspartiet
Conservative liberalism Right-wing Sylvi Listhaug 15.2%
27 / 169
Sp Centre Party
Senterpartiet
Agrarianism Centre Trygve Slagsvold Vedum 10.3%
19 / 169
SV Socialist Left Party
Sosialistisk Venstreparti
Democratic socialism Left-wing Audun Lysbakken 6.0%
11 / 169
V Liberal Party
Venstre
Social liberalism Centre Guri Melby 4.4%
8 / 169
KrF Christian Democratic Party
Kristelig Folkeparti
Christian democracy Centre to centre-right Kjell Ingolf Ropstad 4.2%
8 / 169
MDG Green Party
Miljøpartiet De Grønne
Green politics Centre-left Une Aina Bastholm 3.2%
1 / 169
R Red Party
Rødt
Communism Left-wing to far-left Bjørnar Moxnes 2.4%
1 / 169

Opinion polls[edit]

There are several websites tracking party support ahead of the election, using somewhat different methods.[27][28] Below is a plot of the 30-day moving average of relevant opinion polls.

30-day poll average trendline of opinion polls towards the Norwegian election in 2021

Results[edit]

Norway Storting 2021.svg
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Labour Party783,39426.2548–1
Conservative Party607,31620.3536–9
Centre Party402,96113.5028+9
Progress Party346,47411.6121–6
Socialist Left Party228,0637.6413+2
Red Party140,9314.728+7
Liberal Party137,4334.6180
Green Party117,6473.943+2
Christian Democratic Party113,3443.803–5
Democrats in Norway34,0681.1400
Pensioners' Party19,0060.6400
The Christians10,4480.3500
Industry and Business Party10,0310.340New
Center Party7,8360.260New
Health Party6,4900.2200
Patient Focus4,9500.171New
Capitalist Party4,5200.1500
People's Action No to More Road Tolls3,4350.120New
Alliance – Alternative for Norway2,4890.0800
Pirate Party2,3080.0800
Communist Party3010.0100
Feminist Initiative2750.0100
Generation Party1990.010New
Coastal Party1710.0100
Save Nature970.000New
Total2,984,187100.001690
Valid votes2,984,18799.36
Invalid/blank votes19,1030.64
Total votes3,003,290100.00
Registered voters/turnout3,891,73677.17
Source: valgresultat.no

By electoral district[edit]

Below is the percentage of vote each party earned in each electoral district.[2]

Electoral district Ap H Sp Frp SV R V MDG KrF PF
Østfold 30.6 18.7 14.2 12.8 5.9 4.5 2.8 2.9 3.3
Akershus 26.0 27.7 8.9 10.6 6.6 3.9 6.6 4.6 2.1
Oslo 23.0 23.6 3.1 6.0 13.3 8.3 10.0 8.5 1.8
Hedmark 33.3 10.6 28.3 8.5 6.7 3.3 2.2 2.0 1.6
Oppland 35.2 12.5 26.2 8.6 5.3 3.7 2.3 2.2 1.6
Buskerud 28.5 22.1 16.2 12.3 5.5 3.4 3.5 2.9 2.3
Vestfold 27.0 25.2 10.0 12.5 6.0 4.4 4.0 3.8 3.5
Telemark 31.0 15.7 16.6 12.8 5.9 4.6 2.2 2.7 4.5
Aust-Agder 24.6 20.3 13.6 13.4 5.4 3.7 3.1 2.9 8.8
Vest-Agder 20.8 21.4 10.4 13.3 5.2 3.2 3.5 3.0 13.9
Rogaland 22.4 24.0 10.5 16.9 4.9 3.7 3.4 2.4 8.1
Hordaland 22.8 24.6 9.9 12.7 8.8 4.6 4.2 3.8 4.9
Sogn og Fjordane 26.5 13.9 28.7 9.4 5.6 4.0 3.3 2.3 3.9
Møre og Romsdal 20.2 16.3 17.6 22.3 6.1 3.3 2.8 2.3 5.4
Sør-Trøndelag 30.0 16.5 15.1 8.7 9.0 5.6 4.3 4.7 2.2
Nord-Trøndelag 33.7 10.6 29.1 8.1 5.5 3.9 2.0 1.7 2.3
Nordland 29.0 15.4 21.3 12.3 6.9 5.4 2.4 2.2 2.0
Troms 27.2 13.7 19.1 14.1 10.6 4.7 2.4 2.9 2.2
Finnmark 31.6 6.8 18.3 10.9 5.9 4.9 1.4 2.2 1.6 12.7
Total 26.3 20.5 13.6 11.7 7.5 4.7 4.5 3.8 3.8 0.2

Below is the number of district seats for each party, with the party winning the most votes coloured in.[2] The party earning the leveling seat[29] in each district is marked by (*).

Electoral district AP H Sp Frp SV R V MDG KrF PF Total
Østfold 3 2 2 1 1* 9
Akershus 5 6* 2 2 1 1 1 1 19
Oslo 4 5 1 3 2 3* 2 20
Hedmark 3 1 2 1* 7
Oppland 2 1 2 1* 6
Buskerud 3 2 1 1 1* 8
Vestfold 2 2 1 1 1* 7
Telemark 2 1 1 1 1* 6
Aust-Agder 1 1 1 1* 4
Vest-Agder 1 1 1 1 1* 1 6
Rogaland 3 4 2 2 1 1* 1 14
Hordaland 4 4 2 2 1 1 1* 1 16
Sogn og Fjordane 1 1 1 1* 4
Møre og Romsdal 2 1 2 2 1* 8
Sør-Trøndelag 3 2 2 1 1 1* 10
Nord-Trøndelag 2 2 - 1* 5
Nordland 3 1 2 1 1 1* 9
Troms 2 1 1 1 1* 6
Finnmark 2 1 1* 1 5
Total 48 36 28 21 13 8 8 3 3 1 169

By municipality[edit]

Aftermath[edit]

After the announcement of the results, Conservative Party prime minister Erna Solberg conceded defeat to opposition leader Jonas Gahr Støre. Solberg thanked her supporters and said she was proud of the government's achievements throughout eight years of centre-right rule. On her way to the podium to deliver her concession speech, Solberg told reporters that she had called Jonas Gahr Støre, the head of the Labour Party, to congratulate him on his victory. Addressing a crowd shortly after Solberg conceded, Støre said: "We have waited, we have hoped and worked so hard, and now we can finally say, we did it."[3]

International reactions[edit]

International news outlets commented that following the elections, all five Nordic countries, namely Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, now had left-leaning prime ministers or were to be ruled by left-wing-led governments simultaneously for the first time since 1959.[8][9][nb 1]

Disestablishment of Viken[edit]

The parties that seek to dissolve the unpopular and controversial Viken county, formed in 2020 by the forced merger of Akershus, Buskerud, and Østfold, won a majority, and as a result the county executive initiated the formal process to dissolve the county and divide it back into its original constituent counties.[5]

Government formation[edit]

Government pre-negotiations took place at Hurdalsjøen Hotel in Hurdal municipality after Trygve Slagsvold Vedum and the Centre Party opted for pre-negotiations with the Socialist Left Party before subsequent government negotiations. These negotiations began on 23 September and lasted until 29 September (excluding the weekend), when the Socialist Left Party, led by Audun Lysbakken, withdrew from negotiations citing their disagreement with the Labour Party and the Centre Party, in particular over issues of petroleum and welfare.[10] To the press, he reassured that the party was open for future negotiations and would be going into opposition for the time being.[11] At a press conference later that day, along with Vedum, Støre announced that the Labour Party and the Centre Party had started negotiations for a minority government.[32] On 8 October, Støre and Vedum announced that the new government's platform (Hurdalsplattformen [no]) would be presented on 13 October and that they were ready to form a government,[33] which was formalized for 14 October,[34] and the Støre Cabinet was formed that day.[13]

As a minority coalition, the government has to rely on opposition parties to pass budget motions. For both the 2021 and 2022 budgets, the government was able to come to an agreement with the Socialist Left Party.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The government in Iceland has been headed by a centre-left–centre-right coalition, which was confirmed in November 2021, and is headed by left-leaning prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir since 2017.[30][31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dato for valgdagen 2021 er satt" [The Date for the 2021 Election is set]. iTromsø (in Norwegian). 6 March 2020. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Tall for hele Norge – Stortingsvalg – 2021". Valgresultat (in Norwegian). 21 September 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  3. ^ a b Norwell, Frazer (13 September 2021). "As it happened: 'We did it' – Norway's left-wing opposition triumphs in general election". The Local Norway. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  4. ^ Bergh, Johannes; Karlsen, Rune (2022). "Norway: Political Developments and Data in 2021: Victory for the Centre‐Left". European Journal of Political Research Political Data Yearbook. doi:10.1111/2047-8852.12377. ISSN 2047-8844.
  5. ^ a b "Nytt stortingsflertall – prosess for Viken" (in Norwegian). Viken. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  6. ^ Buli, Nora; Klesty, Victoria (14 September 2021). "Norway's left-wing opposition wins in a landslide, coalition talks next". Reuters. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  7. ^ "Conservative PM concedes defeat as in Norway's elections". AP News. Associated Press. 13 September 2021. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  8. ^ a b Milne, Richard (13 September 2021). "Norway's centre-left set for power as Erna Solberg concedes". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Norway's left-wing opposition wins general election in a landslide". France 24. Agence France-Presse. 13 September 2021. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  10. ^ a b Treloar, Stephen (29 September 2021). "Norway Coalition Talks in Disarray as Socialist Left Walks Out". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  11. ^ a b "SV bryter sonderingene på Hurdal: − Stor skuffelse". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 29 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  12. ^ Ummelas, Ott (8 October 2021). "Norway's Labor, center agree to form pro-oil minority coalition". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 16 October 2021 – via World Oil News.
  13. ^ a b Pettersen, Stig Arild (14 October 2021). "Regjeringen Støre". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Stortingsvalg 2017". Valgresultat (in Norwegian). Norwegian Directorate of Elections. 26 February 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  15. ^ Schaart, Eline (2 November 2018). "Norwegian government safe after Christian party votes to join its ranks". Politico Europe. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  16. ^ Henry, Galaxy (18 January 2019). "Norway: PM Solberg strikes deal to form center-right majority". Politico Europe. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  17. ^ Tjernshaugen, Karen; Ole Ask, Alf; Ruud, Solveig; Magne, Kjetil. "Frp går ut av regjeringen. Nå er stolleken om hvem som skal overta statsrådspostene i gang". Aftenposten (in Norwegian Bokmål).
  18. ^ Olsen, Jan M. (20 January 2020). "Norway left with minority government after populists quit". ABC News. Associated Press.
  19. ^ Terje Solsvik (20 January 2020). Gwladys Fouche (ed.). "Norway PM Solberg says to stay in office with minority government". Reuters. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  20. ^ a b c "Slik fordeles stemmene våre / how the Storting is composed". YouTube (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  21. ^ "Utvalget som skal foreslå ny valglov snart i sving". ABC Nyheter (in Norwegian). Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  22. ^ "Free and secret elections" (PDF). 27 May 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 August 2021. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  23. ^ Modernisation, Ministry of Local Government and (20 March 2019). "Regulations for the 2019 local government elections for municipalities and counties that are subject to boundary changes that come into effect January 1st 2020". Government.no. Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Prop. 76 L (2017–2018)". regeringen.no. 10 April 2018. Archived from the original on 4 July 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  25. ^ "Oppløsningsrett og investitur avvist nok en gang" (in Norwegian). Department of Political Science, University of Oslo. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  26. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2021). "Norway". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  27. ^ "Stortingsvalg: Hele landet". Poll of Polls (in Norwegian). Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  28. ^ "The 2021 Norwegian Parliamentary Election". Estimite. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  29. ^ Skjelvik, Sondre (14 September 2021). "Dramatikk rundt Rødt – fire stemmer skiller dem: – Jeg er totalt målløs" (in Norwegian Bokmål). NRK. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  30. ^ "Iceland's ruling coalition agrees on new government". France 24. Agence France-Presse. 28 November 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  31. ^ "Iceland's left-right coalition agrees to take another term". Reuters. 28 November 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  32. ^ "Ap og Sp går i regjeringsforhandlinger: − Nå utvider jeg alfabetet". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 29 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  33. ^ "Støre: – Vi er enige om å danne regjering" (in Norwegian). NRK. 8 October 2021. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  34. ^ Ummelas, Ott (8 October 2021). "Norway's Labor, Center parties agree to form pro-oil minority coalition". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 16 October 2021.