Red–green coalition (Norway)

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For other red–green coalitions, see red-green alliance
Red-Green Coalition
Leader Jens Stoltenberg
Founded 14 September 2005
Dissolved 16 October 2013
Ideology Social democracy (Ap),
Democratic socialism (SV),
Agrarianism (Sp)
Political position Centre-left

The red–green coalition was a centre-left coalition of parties in Norway, constituting the Labour Party (Ap), the Socialist Left Party (SV), and the Centre Party (Sp). Unlike many other Red-Green coalitions, the "green" here was the colour of a centrist Nordic agrarian party rather than an actual green political movement. It governed from 2005 until Labour Party leader Jens Stoltenberg resigned his cabinet on 16 October 2013 following the coalition's defeat in the 2013 elections.

Opponents of the Red-Green Coalition sometimes referred to the coalition by other names. The Norwegian centre-right, comprising Conservatives, Progress Party, Christian Democrats and Liberal Party usually called it a "socialist coalition". The Red Electoral Alliance feels that "red" is not a descriptive colour for this coalition and therefore uses "pale red". Similarly, the Green Party and the Liberal Party, which also use green as their color, claim that the three parties do not deserve the green color. After the 2013 election defeat, the "red-green parties" has continued to be used informally as a moniker for the former coalition partners, although the alliance between the parties has been formally dissolved.


The coalition was established in 2005 to constitute an alternative to the centre-right government of Kjell Magne Bondevik, and won the Norwegian parliamentary election, 2005 with a slight majority. The government formed was the first majority government in Norway since 1985. It replaced the Bondevik government on 17 October 2005.

However, different views between the three parties taking part in the coalition on several important issues[1] led to tough negotiations at Soria Moria in Oslo to put their differences aside in order to reach a common platform.

The victory was a historical landmark for a number of reasons. The Labour Party had never been a member of a coalition government, except for a short interim at the end of World War II. The Socialist Left Party had never participated in any government, and historically had been unwilling to co-operate with Labour. In addition, the Centre Party is co-operating with the centre-left of Norwegian politics for the first time, having previously formed governments with both the Conservatives and the Christian Democratic Party on several occasions.

A good relationship between the leader of Labour Party, Jens Stoltenberg, and of the Socialist Left, Kristin Halvorsen, has been considered a major factor in forming the alliance.[citation needed] Halvorsen was considered more pragmatic and moderate than some of her old-guard party colleagues; the Socialist People's Party, one of SV's predecessors, was established in the early 1960s as an ideological opponent to Labour's foreign policy, and it was the main opponent to NATO membership. After the September 2005 election, some old members criticised Halvorsen for being too benign towards Labour.[citation needed]

The 2009 parliamentary elections resulted in a renewed majority for the Red-Green coalition, with 86 seats out of 169. The Socialist Left Party lost four seats in parliament, while the Labour Party gained three.[2] The successful re-election of a sitting government is a rare event in Norway, and had not happened since 1993.[3]

The Coalition Cabinet (2013)[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Archived from the original on November 19, 2005. Retrieved September 13, 2005.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Molstad, Kristjan; Hauge, Mari Torsdotter; Barstad, Stine (September 15, 2009). "Å ta ministerposter fra SV vil være å strø salt i såret" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Archived from the original on September 16, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  3. ^ Helljesen, Vilde; Aanensen, Kristian (September 14, 2009). "Dette er historisk". NRK (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2009-09-16. 

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