The Conservative Party in Norway: From Opposition to Alternative Government
This chapter considers some of the main developments in the structure of and support for the Norwegian Conservative party. The emphasis is on the changes in the 1970s when the party organisation was strengthened and when support for the party grew to almost 30 per cent of the electorate. A few words should be said about those aspects of the party that will not be dealt with. The role of ideology and the party programme, the party leadership, the party-affiliated press and the party in local and provincial politics are all interesting topics, but space prevents us from dealing with them here. Admittedly this may be leaving out significant explanatory factors behind the current surge in support for the Conservatives. Focusing on the extended electoral base for the party may easily lead to the conclusion that it is the voters who have changed their mind rather than the party that has changed its policies. Which of the two propositions is closest to the truth is hard to tell from our data. Both factors may be of importance, and a third factor may simply be that organisational growth has made the party more visible among voters. Thus voters may not have changed their minds, nor may the party have changed its policies; rather it may have done a better marketing job in absolute and relative (to other parties) terms, and reached more potential supporters.
KeywordsLocal Branch Local Election Labour Party Tertiary Sector Liberal Party
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