Oslo: Norway voted on Monday on the last day of a parliamentary election dominated by climate change and economic inequality, and the center-left opposition is expected to replace a conservative government that has ruled for eight years.
Norway’s status as a major oil and gas producer was at the heart of the campaign, although a transition from petroleum – and the jobs it creates – is likely to be gradual, whoever wins.
Opinion polls show that Labor is on track to replace Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s coalition, but will need the support of at least two more parties to secure a majority of seats, which will set the framework for post-election negotiations.
“Our policy is working, work is increasing … so we have to keep it going,” Solberg told reporters after voting in her hometown of Bergen.
The person who is expected to become the next prime minister, Labor leader Jonas Gahr Stoere, hopes Labor, the Center Party and the Socialist Left will win a majority among them and form a government.
Like Solberg, he wants to give oil companies time to gradually adjust their engineering skills to follow green technologies such as offshore wind turbines.
“I believe our time for our oil and gas industry is a wrong industrial policy and a wrong climate policy,” Tough Sunday told reporters after voting on the first day of the election.
But polls show he could become dependent on the Red Party, which wants social reforms based on Marxist ideology, or the Green Party, which wants to stop all oil production in Norway by 2035.
Decision in a minority can also be an option for Labor. Stoere says his government will focus on reducing the country’s CO2 emissions in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement, but has rejected any ultimatum on energy policy.
If he wins, Stoere has promised to address inequality by lowering taxes for low- and middle-income families and raising rates for the rich.