İrem Uzun –TDO- On September 11, Norway went to polls to decide whether the Conservative prime minister, Erna Solberg, or her Labour rival, Jonas Gahr Støre, will lead the country for the next four years. Economically liberal centre-right Conservatives have governed the country since 2013. The election was considered as “the biggest election thriller in many decades” by Norwegian media as the surveys showed that the Conservatives and the opposition Labour party was going neck-and-neck. With 95 percent of the votes counted, the right-wing bloc, headed by Solberg, has won the election for the second time.
Norway uses a modified proportional representation system, which allocates the number of seats a party wins in each parliament relative to the number of votes the party receives in each election. The winner is likely to face complex coalition negotiations as a number of Norway's smaller parties prepare to make tough demands in return for their support in the next parliament. With the majority of the votes counted, the centre-right coalition was set to win 89 seats in the 169-seat parliament, according to a forecast by Norway’s Election Directorate. Solberg claimed victory after the latest projection, saying voters had given her a "mandate for four more years". The results are not a pretty for the centre-left Labour party, the traditional group of power in Norway, which ended the night as the biggest loser compared with the previous vote in 2013. The opposition, headed by Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre, was set to win the remaining 80 seats. "This is a big disappointment for Labour," he said after results showed his defeat.