COMMENTARY: Norway’s Progress Party (FrP) and leader Siv Jensen are gaining more voter favour whilst some other officials are suffering a slight political puncture, the latest opinion poll shows.
As memories of last year’s crushing local election defeat gradually fade, not to mention the recent spate of sex scandals, Progress’ popularity has risen from 15.8 percent two months ago to 17.3 now.
Siv Jensen, who leads a far-right Party not known for its uncompromisingly positive immigration policy, has recently started a charm offensive directed towards foreigners, though perhaps not Muslims.
At last month’s conference, she said I’m very clear about the fact we must have a strict asylum and immigration policy and that everyone who is here illegally should be sent out [of the country].”
“Nevertheless, there needs to be a good integration policy for everyone who has legal residence, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t vote for FrP. Many of these people are entrepreneurs and self-employed people. They mustn’t buy the myth about FrP.”
It is unclear as to which particular “myth” she is referring to – political colleagues within the Party have made clear, but sometimes at best blinkered statements about Islam-related matters.
The poll was less encouraging for ‘biggie’ Left and Right Parties Labour (Ap) and the Conservatives (H), showing a roughly 1 percent reduction from March to 34.1 and 26.2 percent, respectively.
Parties Liberal (V) and Centre (Sp) also lost voter confidence by 3.2 percent, and 0.7 percent, whilst the Christian Democrats gained 0.6 six percent, and the Socialist Left (SV) 1.4 percent.
Meanwhile, EU temp agency directive (Labour), alleged rape (Liberals), and funding-resignation troubles (Socialist Left) aside, Siv Jensen has of course greeted today’s news positively.
She told NRK, “We have been working systematically, hard and focused for a long time. The upturn in several polls just shows us that good results may be within reach if we work hard over time.”
Someone is on their bicycle making progress, at least for now.
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