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Voting starts in Norway, centre-right win predicted

09 september 2013, 19:11
Norwegians started voting Monday in legislative elections likely to lead to a centre-right victory and a government of Conservatives and anti-immigration populists, AFP reports.

Poll stations opened at 9:00 am (0700 GMT) from the Arctic north to Oslo 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles) further south, with 3.64 million voters eligible to cast ballots.

A small number of districts also allowed voting to take place on Sunday.

According to all pre-election surveys, the result will be a net victory for the right and for Conservative leader Erna Solberg, who is the country's likely next prime minister.

The Conservatives are expected to have to form a coalition government with the Progress Party, with pursues a populist programme of stricter immigration curbs.

In addition, the Conservatives are expected to have to rely on the parliamentary support of two smaller centrist parties, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals.

The incumbent centre-left government, headed by Labour leader Jens Stoltenberg, has been in power since 2005 and is presiding over a strong economy, underpinned by oil revenues.

However, the party is widely seen as suffering from power fatigue and has also been criticised for failing to put in place measures that could have prevented right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik's murder of 77 people in 2011.

The first partial results of the election are expected immediately after voting ends at 9:00 pm (1900 GMT).

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