Norwegians voted on Monday on the second and final day of a knife-edge parliamentary election in which Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s center-right bloc and a center-left opposition are vying to rule Western Europe’s top oil and gas producer.
Solberg’s Conservatives want to cut taxes in a bid to boost growth, while opposition Labour leader Jonas Gahr Stoere wants tax hikes to improve public services such as education and healthcare for Norway’s 5 million citizens.
The outcome could impact Norway’s oil industry, as either Solberg or Gahr Stoere is likely to depend on one or more small parties that want to impose limits on exploration in Arctic waters off the northern coast.
Solberg, 56, voted in the west coast city of Bergen and expressed cautious hopes of re-election. “The latest opinion polls show that it is within reach. But it’s very dependent on who’s managed to mobilize voters in the last days,” she said.