As the dust from the parliamentary election finally settled, Norway found itself with a brand-new minority government. We invited a panel of high-level political commentators and public affairs experts for an in-depth analysis of the election and the government platform of the new coalition.

Together with the British-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce (BNCC), we invited Financial Times’ Nordic and Baltic bureau chief Richard Milne, senior adviser at First House Odd Hoen-Sevje, adviser at WergelandApenes Håkon Knudsen, and our very own head of public affairs, Peter Gitmark, to share their insight on the matter.

With a great manifesto comes great responsibility (… to develop policy)

With the Hurdal platform completed and presented, politicians from the Labour and Centre Party now look to the Socialist Left in order to gain a parliamentary majority for their policies. In such a political environment; businesses may have a particularly prominent window of opportunity.

The panellists provided the audience, both diplomats and business leaders, with valuable insight on the new political landscape. The panel’s moderator, vice chair Håkon Borud of the BNCC, made sure of a nuanced and comprehensive analysis by asking sharp follow-up questions where needed.

– As far as I can see from the manifesto, it is clear that Labour’s view won, especially when considering climate, energy, and industry. What I am not so sure about is whether they will win in terms of actual policy, said Odd Hoen-Sevje.

In the land of make-believe

The new governments’ ambitions include doubling Norwegian exports, increase trade and promote new, green value-chains. The recent Norway-UK trade agreement and a renewed interest in the Norway-EU relationship may represent new potential for value-creation and growth. As Norway is entering a new era of industrialization, we can expect considerable government incentives and support for offshore wind, carbon-capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen, ammonia, minerals, seafood and other industries.

However, as Prime Minister Støre leads a minority coalition government, we are yet to see how the government will actually govern. Not all the promises outlined in the platform will see the light of day.

– What struck me as interesting is the level of detail in the manifesto, or rather the lack thereof. At the same time, it is written as if Labour and the Centre Party are a majority coalition, which they are not. This total disregard of the Socialist Left Party will be interesting to see unfold in day-to-day politics. Therefore, the manifesto will only be a single piece of the political puzzle, said Peter Gitmark.