It’s been seven weeks since anti-immigration zealot Anders Breivik murdered sixty-nine people at a Labor Party youth retreat on the island of Utoya. Yesterday’s results showed 33.2% of voters supporting Labor candidates, giving that party its best result in a municipal election in two decades. The big swing came on the right, however, as the anti-immigrant Progress Party, of which Breivik was a member until 2006, lost more than a third of its support.
With the Progress Party dropping from 18.5% to 11.8% in the polling, most of its support landed with the Conservative Party, which had been losing ground to Progress in recent years. Labor’s 3.6% jump, however, was enough to give it an overall victory.
Youth voting in Norway also took a big step forward yesterday, as twenty-one municipalities were granted permission to lower their voting age to 16 on a trial basis. More than a hundred local governments applied for permission to participate in the trial, which was offered as a first step toward allowing municipalities to reduce the voting age at their own discretion.