Norway PM Solberg claims election victory after record stimulus

Norwegian flag

Norwegian flag

"With 95% of the votes counted on Monday, Solberg's Conservatives, along with their anti-immigration junior coalition partner, the Progress Party, and two other centre-right allies, were projected to win 89 seats in the 169-seat parliament", Al Jazeera says.

"Our solutions have worked".

In northern Norway, the Labour Party campaigned to revers the decision by the Government on merging the two northernmost counties, Troms and Finnmark.

The Labor Party, led by Jonas Gahr Store, won 27.4 percent of the vote and is set to take the remaining parliamentary seats, but it can not form a government on its own.

The victor 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. Solberg pumped money into an economy that a year after she first took office was pummeled by a slump in oil prices.

She now needs to sit down with the anti-immigration Progress Party, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats to start talks on forming a new coalition.

"Then it may be a weaker government", she told Reuters.

Polling stations opened across Norway on Monday as the oil-rich nation votes for its next four years of government.

Unemployment, which a year ago hit a 20-year high of 5%, has since declined to 4.3%, while consumer confidence is at a 10-year high. Norway's economy also has the cushion of a sovereign wealth fund worth nearly $1 trillion, the world's biggest, built on income from offshore oil and gas.

The sovereign wealth fund has wanted to invest in unlisted infrastructure to boost its return on investment.

Norway's Center Party is the biggest victor with a 4.0 percentage point improvement over the previous 2013 election.

Stoere, who sometimes compares himself with French President Emmanuel Macron, took over the leadership of the Labour Party from Jens Stoltenberg, who left Norwegian politics to become NATO's secretary-general.

"We have time to think, discuss and find the right collaboration format for the next four years", Solberg said at the meeting of the party leaders on Tuesday.

The report, based on data from the Gallup World Poll which analysed more than 100 world issues affecting people's lives, scored Norway highly on factors including "caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance".

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