Norway Opposition Bloc Maintains Lead Before Sept. 9 Election

Norway’s opposition bloc maintained its lead over the Labor-led government as voters look set to oust Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s coalition in two weeks.

Erna Solberg’s Conservative-led four-party bloc would get 53 percent of the votes, versus 40.1 percent for Stoltenberg’s three-party government, according to an average of three polls. The poll results showed a dip in support for the Conservatives while more voters turned to their opposition allies the Progress Party, the Christian Democrats and the Liberal Party.

“Being the party that’s destined to take over the prime ministership puts you in a position where you get attacked by everybody,” Johannes Bergh, an election researcher at the Institute for Social Research in Oslo, said by phone today.

The Labor Party was backed by 29.9 percent of voters while the Conservatives got 28.4 percent, based on polls from InFact, Ipsos MMI, TNS Gallup. The Progress Party, the second biggest in parliament, garnered 14.4 percent.

The polls were published by newspapers VG and Dagbladet over the weekend, and by broadcaster TV2 today.

Solberg, who has led the Conservative Party since 2004, has promised tax cuts and more spending on roads, railways and education. Stoltenberg counters that Norway needs to extend its welfare model, which is financed by the nation’s oil wealth.

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