August 17, 2009 / 12:28 PM / 10 years ago

Norway's centre-left govt may lose majority - poll

OSLO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Norway’s centre-left coalition government is struggling to gather enough support to maintain its parliamentary majority in next month’s election, an opinion poll showed on Monday.

A survey by Santio showed the government, formed from the Labour party, the Socialist Left and the agrarian Centre Party, winning 78 seats in the 169-member parliament. The poll was the latest to signal the Sept. 14 vote will lead to minority rule.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s Labour party has refused to discuss its "Plan B" if the three-party coalition, in power since 2005, fails to win at least 85 seats in parliament. Minority rule is a frequent occurrence in Norway, where the constitution does not allow early parliamentary elections.

Analysts say Labour may opt to rule alone, which would give it more room to manoeuvre on issues such as opening up more Arctic areas for oil and gas drilling, a move vehemently opposed by its coalition allies but backed by the centre-right opposition.

Even if the opposition gains a majority of seats, it is unlikely to unite against the centre-left, with two key centrist parties ruling out cooperation with the right-wing, anti-immigrant Progress Party.

Following is a table of opinion poll results:

DATE INSTITUTE Ap SV Sp V KrF H Frp RV OTHER 17/08 Sentio 31.0 7.9 5.0 5.7 5.4 13.8 27.6 1.6 2.1 06/08 InFact 32.4 7.3 6.9 4.8 6.2 15.0 24.3 1.2 1.9 05/08 Norstat 33.9 7.1 6.0 4.9 6.6 11.3 28.1 1.2 1.8 24/07 Norstat 35.1 6.0 4.7 4.9 5.6 15.1 26.1 1.2 1.3 26/06 Norstat 29.4 8.3 6.3 5.9 5.7 13.4 28.6 1.3 n/a 22/05 VartLand 35.4 7.3 4.7 4.1 6.6 14.0 36.0 1.2 0.8 15/05 Sentio 31.5 6.3 4.0 5.8 5.8 13.2 30.3 1.5 1.5 15/05 Respons 35.8 5.8 4.7 5.9 5.3 15.2 24.0 1.1 2.1 07/05 Norstat 34.1 6.7 5.8 5.9 6.5 11.9 27.7 0.2 1.2 24/04 Respons 33.3 6.4 5.6 5.9 5.1 15.6 26.0 1.7 1.0 17/04 Sentio 29.7 9.0 5.3 5.0 5.7 13.9 28.4 1.3 1.7 17/04 InFact 29.1 7.2 5.1 5.2 6.0 17.6 25.8 1.6 2.4 24/03 Synovate 36.2 9.9 5.5 5.0 4.7 11.5 23.7 0.9 2.6 19/03 Sentio 32.9 6.1 5.7 4.5 6.5 14.7 26.9 1.6 1.1 2005 election: 32.7 8.8 6.5 5.9 6.8 14.1 22.1 1.2 1.9

NOTES: Parties need at least 4 percent of the vote to gain representation in Norway’s parliament, the Storting. Ap = Labour Party, leading party in centre-left coalition SV = Socialist Left Party, junior coalition partner Sp = Centre Party, junior coalition partner V = Liberals, centrist opposition party KrF = Christian People’s Party, centrist opposition group H = Conservatives, second biggest opposition party Frp = Progress Party, biggest opposition group RV = Red Electoral Alliance, radical left (Reporting by Wojciech Moskwa; Editing by Sophie Hares)



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