Leftwing Opposition Wins Norway General Elections
Following a campaign dominated by climate change and the future of Norway's oil and gas exploration industry, the western European country's left wins the general elections.
Norway's Labor Party-led left-wing opposition won Monday's general election after a campaign that focused on the future of the oil industry in western Europe's largest oil producer.
The left, headed by Jonas Gahr Store, unseated a center-right coalition headed by Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who had been in power since 2013.
Store, the man suspected to be Norway's next Prime Minister, said, "We waited, we hoped, and we have worked so hard, and now we can finally say it: We did it!" following the concession of his opponent, Solberg.
With a projection based on a preliminary count of nearly 93% of the votes, the three-party left-wing coalition was expected to win an absolute majority with 100 out of Parliament's 169 seats while the current government would only hold 68. It was unsure who would hold the last seat.
Labor, Norway's now-leading party, was even expected to win an absolute majority with its preferred allies, the Centre Party and the Socialist Left. Preliminary results showed with more than 95% of votes counted.
Said results quashed any Labor concerns about the party having to rely on support from the two other opposition parties, the Greens and the communist Red Party.
"Norway has sent a clear signal: The election shows that the Norwegian people want a fairer society," said 61-year-old Jonas Gahr Store.
Labor's relief stemmed from the fact that the Greens previously said they would only support a left-wing government if it vowed an immediate end to oil exploration in Norway, which Store rejected, for he did not support an immediate end to oil exploration. However, he advocated for a gradual transition from the said industry.
The trio, which already governed together in Stoltenberg's coalitions, often have diverging positions, especially on the pace at which to exit the oil industry.