Universal Credit: Jonathan Reynolds on Labour’s policy
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Norway will soon arrive at a crossroads this month where residents will have the opportunity to decide the future of conservatism. The country’s Prime Minister “Iron” Erna Solberg has governed for eight years and is seeking to extend this to 12 on September 13. But Norwegians appear to have grown tired of her Conservative party, as opinion polls show a looming victory for the local Labour movement.
Polling shows Norway’s Conservative party – named Høyre – has consistently lost support over the last year.
Politico’s Poll of Polls currently puts them at a prospective 20 percent of the vote come September 13, a collapse of five percent from September last year.
They lost their lead on April 19, when support dwindled to 24 percent, enough to put them neck-and-neck with local Labour Party Arbeiderpartiet.
Høyre has consistently forfeited support since then while the chasm between right and left deepened.
Ms Solberg has protected Norwegian lives during the pandemic with Covid crackdowns, and while this has earned other leaders electoral victories, it appears this won’t work for her.
Norwegians have reacted poorly to her policies elsewhere, with a growing economic divide and unpopular public sector reforms.
By comparison, Arbeiderpartiet has emerged as a viable alternative with reasonable plans to axe privatisation, introduce low and middle-income tax relief, and more public funds for healthcare.
As of August 27, the poll of polls estimates Arbeiderpartiet has support from 24 percent of all Norwegians.
Left-wing and centrist parties have made gains across the board, with support for Høyre collaborators the Progress Party – Fremskrittspartiet – at 11 percent while the Centre Party takes their position in third place with 13 percent.
A left-wing coalition could take 114 of the Norwegian Parliament’s 169 seats, while the Conservatives stand to gain just 55.
These results indicate a path ahead for a majority centre-left Norwegian government with Arbeiderpartiet leader Jonas Gahr Stoere at the helm of a power-sharing agreement.
The incoming race could come with some valuable lessons for the Labour Party’s performance in the UK.
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Norway’s Labour Party has succeeded where Sir Keir Starmer has failed by introducing a viable alternative to the present government.
So far, Britons remain confused about what UK Labour stands for under Sir Keir.
Arbeiderpartiet’s millionaire Mr Stoere has crafted a clear set of policies now welcomed by most Norwegians.
Labour could also learn lessons from Norway’s left when it comes to power-sharing.
Support within a political bloc bore fruit for left-wingers and centrists in June when the Liberal Democrats won the Chesham and Amersham by-election.
They squeaked to victory while Labour haemorrhaged support, suggesting united anti-tory support.
Should Sir Keir endorse tactical voting or strike up a coalition deal with other parties opposite the Conservatives, he could see a victory when the next election comes around in 2024.
But he has so far resisted calls for a “progressive alliance”, insisting Labour can win British hearts alone.
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