Progress Party (Norway)

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Progress Party
Party leader Siv Jensen
Parliamentary leader
Founded 1973
Political ideology Conservatism
Political position Right-wing
International affiliation
Color(s) Blue

The Progress Party (Norwegian: Fremskrittspartiet, FrP) is a political party in Norway, representing capitalism, soft-Euroskepticism, and a moderate right-wing populism. Declining to being the third largest party in the 2013 elections, down from second, the party nevertheless formed a governing coalition with the mainstream center-right party.


Anders Lange's Party

The Progress Party was founded as Anders Lange's Party For Heavy Reduction Of Governmental Power And Taxations, more common Anders Lange's Party (ALP), in 1973 by Anders Lange. The party was a protest party, but gained support from a political stance that wasn't already fully covered by The Conservative Party. The party fell under criticism of supporting Front National de Liberté (FNL) in Vietnam, and the apartheid regime in South Africa. Anders Lange's Party came into the Storting already in 1973 (with 4 mandates), giving the established parties a real shock.

Carl I. Hagen's leadership

After Lange's death in 1974, the party changed its name to the Progress Party, and the party had various chairman until 1978, when Carl I. Hagen was elected. During Hagen's leadership, the Progress Party raised from 4,5 percent of the votes in 1981, to 22 percent in 2005. The largest "jump" was in 1989, giving the party 20 more seats than in the election in 1985. Though, the party dropped down to 6 percent of the votes already in 1993. Since then, the growth has been stable.

Vote of no confidence against Willoch's government

The Progress Party supported (but wasn't a part of) the right-wing government led by Kåre Willoch (Conservative), but was the reason that the government had to leave its offices when the Progress Party opposed the government's suggested increase of petroleum prices, and then the government failed a vote of confidence in 1986. Carl I. Hagen wrote that he really regretted what he led the party to do, one of reasons was that the Government of Norway was mainly ruled by the Labour Party until 1997, with a short break of a right-wing government with Jan P. Syse (Conservative) as Prime Minister in 1989–1990. The party was too weak in the mid-90's to end Brundtland's rule any earlier.

New party chairman

Siv Jensen was elected chairman of the Progress Party in 2006, after Hagen's 22 years of leadership. Jensen failed to be given chairwoman or leader as title, and had to continue as chairman. The Progress Party hadn't, despite its popularity, ever been in government position, which led to Jensen demanding that the party won't support any government after the election in 2009, without being a part of this. The demand has pushed the other right-wing parties to include the Progress Party in any new government; Lars Sponheim (Liberal) has denied a cooperation, and the Christian Democrats have not given any answer. The Conservative Party has stated that the party will work for a unifying right-wing government in 2009, including all right-wing parties.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's ruling Labor Party government came under challenge by Siv Jensen and her right-wing populist Progress Party, which has gained support by calling for lowering Norway's notoriously high taxes and tightening immigration rules. Debate centered on how to manage the Nordic welfare state's oil wealth.[1]

In the government

In 2013 the Progress party for the first time entered into a governing coalition, now with some anti-immigration elements rebranded as "populist," although its coalition partners, the Prime Minister, academics, and the party itself reject the term. Anti-elitist may be a more fitting description. The party has a long history of opposition to the traditional establishment ruling elites of Norway on the grounds of high taxation. The governing coalition was re-elected in the 2017 parliamentary election, in which issues related to immigration, nationalism, and Euroskepticism played a large role;[2][3] this was the first time a right-of-center government was re-elected since 1985.[4]

The Progress Party used its position as a member of the government to enact stricter immigration laws, shifting Norway's immigration policy in a more conservative and nationalist direction.[5] Sylvi Listhaug of the Progress Party, a strong opponent of immigration, was appointed Norway's first Immigration Minister in December 2015.[6] As the immigration minister, she criticized Sweden for its mass immigration policies,[7] supported increased immigration and asylum restrictions,[8] and told Muslims living in Norway to adopt their country's culture.[9] Listhaug has been attacked by the liberal media for wearing a small cross on a necklace.[10] Liberals call the Christian cross xenophobic.

While in the government, the Progress Party took a relatively small-government approach to health issues.[11] It also was skeptical of wind power.[12]

Criticism from leftists

  • Populism. The party has since its founding been attacked for being "populist", which can explain the party's varying results in elections. Various politicians and scientists within political studies have agreed on this. Such criticism have, however, been most common from Martin Kolberg (Labour) and Erik Solheim (Socialist Left), but also Kjell Magne Bondevik (Christian Democrat), Prime Minister 1997–2000 and 2001–2005.

See also


  1. See Karl Ritter, "Norway election focused on oil wealth," AP Sept. 14, 2009
  2. Norway wrestles with national values, immigration, EU ties in election. Fox News (from the Associated Press). September 9, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  3. Eriksson, Aleksandra (September 5, 2017). EU ties under pressure in run-up to Norway election. EU Observer. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  4. Multiple references:
  5. Andersen, Audrey (September 26, 2017). What eight years of right-wing rule will mean for foreigners in Norway. The Local. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  6. Hallett, Nick (December 18, 2015). Anti-Mass Migration Politician Appointed Norway’s First Ever Immigration Minister. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  7. Milne, Richard (August 30, 2017). Norway minister sparks war of words with Sweden over immigration. Financial Times. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  8. Norwegian minister: Immigration reforms inadequate. The Local. July 26, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  9. Walker, Peter (October 21, 2016). Norway integration minister faces resignation calls after telling Muslims 'we eat pork and drink alcohol'. The Independent. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  10. Hale, Virginia (March 6, 2017). Immigration Minister Slammed for Wearing Crucifix in ‘Vile Attack’. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  11. Duke, Selwyn (May 8, 2019). Tolerant Big Brother: Let People Drink, Smoke, and Eat Red Meat, Says Health Minister. The New American. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  12. Adomaitis, Nerijus; Fouche, Gwladys (December 18, 2019). Norway picks wind power sceptic as oil minister amid Arctic drilling debate. Reuters. Retrieved December 18, 2019.

External links

Political parties in Norway
Centre PartyChristian Democratic PartyConservative PartyLabour PartyLiberal PartyProgress PartySocialist Left Party