Election 2009: Will non-western immigrant voters shun the Right? / News / The Foreigner

Election 2009: Will non-western immigrant voters shun the Right?. Researcher forecasts low participation and left wing voting. With only 10 days to go until polling day in the Norwegian parliamentary elections, it’s still anybody’s guess as to which way it will go.Low turnout Two years ago, 36 percent of immigrants from non-western countries voted in the local elections, with only half of those eligible under this year’s general election being expected to cast it, according to senior researcher Johannes Bergh at the Norwegian Institute for Social Research in Oslo.

ap, arbeiderparti, labour, party, immigrants, voting, low, turn-out, election, 2009, right, left, wing



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Election 2009: Will non-western immigrant voters shun the Right?

Published on Friday, 4th September, 2009 at 17:14 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 7th September 2009 at 10:50.

Researcher forecasts low participation and left wing voting.

Hand with ballot and box
Hand with ballot and box
Photo: Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock Images


With only 10 days to go until polling day in the Norwegian parliamentary elections, it’s still anybody’s guess as to which way it will go.

Low turnout

Two years ago, 36 percent of immigrants from non-western countries voted in the local elections, with only half of those eligible under this year’s general election being expected to cast it, according to senior researcher Johannes Bergh at the Norwegian Institute for Social Research in Oslo.

There are three reasons for why he thinks this will happen.

“Election voting is based on the general level of social interaction with others. Integration takes a while, therefore people who moved to this country recently don’t participate,” he tells The Foreigner.

Education is another determining factor, according to Bergh.

“There is a correlation between the level of turnout and level of education amongst immigrants from non-western countries.

Finally, there is the age-factor. Bergh says many non-western immigrants who have been here longer tend to vote, but despite the fact that statistics from Statistics Norway (SBB) show that immigrants as a whole represent 10.6 percent of the Norwegian population, many of them are under 30.

“The numbers are higher amongst the immigrant population than the rest of the country,” he says.

Improvements

There are only two immigrants at this year’s election that have a chance of being elected to parliament, but neither of them are guaranteed a seat. Perhaps the turnout would have been higher if there had been more? Bergh doesn’t think so.

“There are limits to what the politicians can do because of the level of social integration and socio-economic status of those people who have just moved here. However, there could be more minority politicians who run for office.”

Safety in numbers

Bergh goes on to say that there is a tentative connection between voting and political ideology among immigrants. As a whole, he believes that the left will receive more of their votes.

“It’s about the dynamics of group voting. Even though they might not agree with their policies, the left is the best defender and supporter of immigration policy in relation to ethnic and religious minorities.”

The Labour Party (Ap) is usually the big vote-winner amongst immigrants, and Bergh thinks it will probably be so this year too.




Published on Friday, 4th September, 2009 at 17:14 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 7th September 2009 at 10:50.

This post has the following tags: ap, arbeiderparti, labour, party, immigrants, voting, low, turn-out, election, 2009, right, left, wing.





  
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