Party conference season is upon us in Norway and thoughts are turning to next year’s General Election. With that in mind, here’s a summary of how the parties are doing. I’ve included an estimate of what their seat tally would be with this result.
Red 1.5% 1 seat: The commies always seem to get one seat in opinion polling, but then fail to bring home the the bacon, or rather quorn substitiute bacon, on the day. Probably the same will happen this time, but it’s always fun to see their excitement when, for a brief moment, they look to be able to gain representation in the parliamentary system they so long to bring down.
Socialists 3.5% 1 seat: Very bad poll for the Socialists, who were doing a bit better in recent months. Maybe their bold decision to say they wouldn’t necessarily support Labour come next election wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Labour 32.5% 60 seats: This is an okay showing for Labour. The main problem is that they wouldn’t be able to build any useful coalition with a Socialist party at one seat. They also have more work to do in luring the unsuspecting Christians into their camp. Dreams of a Labour, Farmer, Christian coalition don’t look plausible on these numbers. They will have to up their game.
Farmers 6.0% 11 seats: In a manner which never fails to amaze, this party of wooly-pully wearers is still doing quite well in the polls. It might be because those who hate the Conservatives’ attempts to drag Norway’s local government system out of the 1800s need somewhere to coalesce.
Greens 3.2% 1 seat: It’s rather annoying that a party who are basically the Socialists with fewer policies are splitting the green vote, meaning that neither party gets meaningful representation. If only they could join forces in some way: I’m sure they’d be able to bond over their fondness for pistachio coloured shirts and khaki sandals.
Christians 5.2% 10 seats: Up until now the Christians were piously averting their eyes from the tempting visage of the Labour Party. But recently Labour’s more hardline stance on immigrants and refugees might have scared the Christians away. They will have to search for meaning elsewhere (with the Conservatives and Populists until Labour comes to its senses).
Liberals 4.6% 8 seats: “We will use time and energy to imagine a world we want to create” This was the profound message widely quoted and ridiculed from the Liberals’ party conference at the weekend. It is comparable in vacuousness only to the Liberal leader’s ambition of entering into government with the Conservatives, the Christians and Greens. Granted she did say a minority government, but this would be a minority government of 65 out of 169 seats and forgets that the Conservatives are currently in a coalition with the Populists. And that this is a coalition the Liberals are propping up! Hard to keep track sometimes.
Conservatives 24.9% 46 seats: Though it’s very hard to say who will be in power after the next election, judging from recent evidence the Conservatives are in a pretty good position. They do have a couple of headaches, such as the problem that the Populists have said that they will not prop up a government they themselves are not a part of. Some of the more sensitive types in the party, used to swilling champagne on daddy’s yacht on the Oslo fjord, are rather upset to find themselves in bed with the red-necks of the Populist party. At the same time, they will probably calculate that power is power and worth enduring some hicks for.
Populists 17.1% 31 seats: After a bit of a slump mid-election cycle the Populists have bounced back and are making a roaring trade on xenophobia and fear of immigrants and refugees. Now that they are in government they are having a high old time as well slamming the door on any poor person who would like to seek sanctuary. They are also finding to their delight that that the Labour and Conservative party are joining in, which means they can pass it all in parliament.
Anyway, that’s how matters stand currently, with over a year to go until the election lots could happen, but the philososloth will keep you updated on every twist and turn.