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Economy key as Norway votes

Monday, September 09, 2013 - 00:58

Sept 09 - Norwegians go to the polls in an election that is likely to see a change in government in the Nordic country. (ROUGH-CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION).

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ROUGH-CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION According to opinion polls Norway's centre-right opposition, promising tax cuts, privatisation and a smaller government, is set for a sweeping election win, ousting a Labour-led government accused of wasting a once-in-a-lifetime economic boom. The only electoral risk facing the likely next prime minister, Conservative Erna Solberg, is an anti-immigration party whose participation in her coalition could repulse other potential allies and deprive her of a full majority. Norwegians look likely to punish Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, seen by some as having failed to use the best of times to prepare for life after oil. Stoltenberg guided Norway through a global downturn with little more than a scratch. But growth is slowing, his record on health care is mixed and critics accuse him of squandering the oil revenues that have shielded Norway. But that will not save Stoltenberg, even if, as polls show, his Labour party still ends up with the biggest share of the vote, at 30 per cent. Four opposition parties are on course for around 100 seats in parliament, 15 more than needed for a majority. As they cast their votes on the sunny autumn day, many voters expressed a wish for change. Polls close at 1900 GMT, when several exit polls - which have proved accurate in the past - will be published. Indicative results are expected around 2200 GMT.

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Economy key as Norway votes

Monday, September 09, 2013 - 00:58