The Latest: Norway leftist leader concedes election defeat
Posted September 11
STOCKHOLM — The latest on the general election in Norway (all times local):
The Norwegian news agency NTB says the leader of Norway's main leftist opposition party has acknowledged defeat in Monday's national elections.
With nearly 80 percent of the votes counted, the leftist Labor Party is on track to have the most seats in the parliament, but it and potential support parties on the left don't appear to be tallying enough to form a majority in the 169-seat Storting.
Vote projections from the national electoral directorate point to the Conservatives of Prime Minister Erna Solberg, coalition partner the Progress Party and two non-socialist support parties winning at least 88 seats to maintain a narrow hold on government.
NTB quotes Labor Party leader Jonas Gahr Store as saying: "As it seems now, it just didn't happen."
The conservative parties that have governed Norway for the past four years appear to be retaining control of the parliament.
The Norwegian Directorate of Elections said that with 51 percent of ballots counted, the Conservatives of Prime Minister Erna Solberg and coalition partner the Progress Party were projected to win a total 74 seats in the 169-seat Storting.
Two other conservative parties that support the coalition, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats, were tallying 15 seats, giving the right wing a majority 89 seats.
Projections made just after the polls closed in Norway's national election suggest that conservative parties will maintain their control of the government, although by a smaller margin.
The projections issued Monday by the Norwegian Directorate of Elections and private broadcaster TV2 showed Prime Minister Erna Solberg's Conservatives and their coalition partners, the populist Progress Party, winning 77 seats in the 169-member Storting.
The Christian Democrats and Liberals, which support the coalition, lost some seats, but maintained enough to tip the balance to the right.
Labor, the biggest party in parliament, dropped several seats.
___ 9:10 p.m.
Polls have closed in Norway, where all seats in the 169-member parliament were up for grabs.
The Nordic country with a population of 5.3 million has been governed since the 2013 election by Prime Minister Erna Solberg's Conservatives in coalition with the populist Progress Party and support from the Christian Democrats and the Liberals.
The main opposition comes from Labor, the biggest party in the Storting.
Norway's national election is a tight contest over national values, including how welcoming the wealthy country should be to migrants and asylum-seekers and how close it should be to the European Union.
Opinion polls before Monday's balloting showed no party anywhere close to getting enough votes to gain a simple majority in the 169-seat parliament, setting up postelection coalition negotiations.
The country is now ruled by Prime Minister Erna Solberg's Conservatives in coalition with the populist Progress Party, propped up by votes from the Christian Democrats and the Liberals. The main opposition comes from Labor, the biggest party in Parliament, but it needs support from at least two smaller parties to get a majority.
Both the Conservatives and Labor have lost support in recent months.