After a crisis autumn that ended head-on with a bottom note at the beginning of January, the Labor Party has carried out three polls in a row. And the party is again the country’s largest.
For the first time, Støre is building on very long momentum with three successive advances in the measurements
These are unpleasant times and one should talk about increased political support with caution. Norwegian politics is now framed by a critical international situation we have not experienced since World War II. Progress in domestic opinion polls must therefore be mentioned in terms other than success and defeat.
It is nevertheless a fact that a long crisis-stricken Labor Party now receives support for its policy and its appearance. The domestic crises of rising electricity prices and pandemics, which dominated the Christmas agenda, have been addressed. The results have been good. This week, the Storting agreed on a new electricity package that is valid until March next year, and the last remnant of the corona was acknowledged with the fact that the infection quarantine of four days was also terminated. The corona is if not out of our bodies, out of our heads.
The war in Ukraine has taken the oxygen away from all other discussions and concerns. President Zelenskyj’s speech to the Storting last week illustrated well the dimensions and what now applies politically. War in our own Europe takes all the attention. The noise surrounding the departure of deputy and Minister Hadia Tajik subsided quickly. Expensive prospects are largely accepted by voters as a result of international conditions.
In the midst of an international crisis, it is natural that the Prime Minister, the country’s leader, receives support and endorsement. The Labor Party is now finally experiencing a control supplement on the measurements. Under Jonas Gahr Støre, the party has had some very difficult years. His foremost qualities are not necessarily to have an overview and keep order in his own ranks. But when the gaze is directed towards a world on fire, he appears with a completely different authority. He has balanced many considerations well. And for the first time, Støre is building on very long momentum with three successive advances in the measurements. In politics, crisis can unfortunately be a possibility.
Party leader Støre was for a long time perhaps the wrong man at the wrong time for the Labor Party. But Prime Minister Støre is the right man at the right time for the country. Credible, clear and confident.
That is more than can be said about the government partner the Center Party. The steep descent has slowed down, but air is still leaking out of the Trygve Slagsvold Vedum balloon. And the party is now completely down to the level from the autumn of 2016. With war in Europe, one would think that the posts of Minister of Defense and Emergency Preparedness would provide visibility and lift the party together with partner Labor. But Odd Roger Enoksen is more visible for old attempts at fun than for today’s drama, and Emilie Enger Mehl has let the fight against judicial reform and reason take greater place than Ukraine. It’s a feat.
Circumstances also affect the rest of the political field. The Liberal Party has stood out most clearly from the opposition parties with its demands to go further than the government in its support for Ukraine. It is noticed and the party is solid among the voters. It is, to put it nicely, a long time since the Liberal Party saw the number 5 in our polls.
Red has fallen sharply after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. The party’s NATO position and political hesitation in its relations with Russia have been punished by voters. At the beginning of February, Rødt was able to eat soft cake as the country’s third largest party and celebrate a historic peak with 10.3 percent support. Two months later, almost 40 percent of the party’s voters have disappeared.
We now see clear tendencies for the war in Ukraine to shape our domestic politics and opinion. All indications are that the crisis in Europe will be long-lasting. That it will put pressure on our economy and our everyday lives. And during the year, at least 30,000 Ukrainian refugees will come to the country. It goes without saying that we will accept them, but there will be challenges and problems. For some also political opportunities.