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Conservative party of norway

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Conservative party of norway

Conservative Party
Leader Erna Solberg
Parliamentary leader Erna Solberg
Slogan "Nye ideer, bedre løsninger" (New ideas, better solutions)
Founded 1884
Headquarters Oslo
Youth wing Norwegian Young Conservatives
Membership ~100,000 (peak, 1980s)
28,000 (2011)[1]
Ideology Conservatism,[2][3]
Liberal conservatism,[4][5]
Political position Centre-right
International affiliation International Democrat Union
European affiliation European People's Party (Associate)
Colours Blue
County Councils[7]
Municipal / City Councils[8]
Sami Parliament
Politics of Norway
Political parties

The Høyre (English: Conservative Party, H, literally "Right") is the largest centre-right political party in Norway and the leading party in the current coalition government. The current leader (since 2004) and Norway's Prime Minister is Erna Solberg.

Since the 1920s, the party has consistently been the second largest party in Norway.

In national elections in September 2013, voters ended eight years of Labour rule. A coalition of the Conservative Party and the Progress Party got into office based on promises of tax cuts, better services and stricter rules on immigration, with the support of the Liberal and Christian Democrat parties. After winning the elections, Solberg said her win was "a historic election victory for the right-wing parties".[9]

The party regards itself as an opponent of socialism, and advocates economic liberalism and reduction of taxes. It has historically been the most outspokenly pro-European Union party in Norway, supporting Norwegian membership during both the 1972 and 1994 referendums.[6] The party generally supports semi-privatization through state-funded private services and tougher law and order measures.[10]

Founded in 1884, the Conservative Party is the second oldest political party in Norway after the Liberal Party. In the interwar era, one of the main goals for the party was to achieve a centre-right alliance against the growing labour movement, when the party went into a decline. From 1950 to 2009, the party participated in six governments; two 1960s national governments (Lyng's Cabinet and Borten's Cabinet), one 1980s Conservative Party minority government (Willoch's First Cabinet), two 1980s three-party governments (Willoch's Second Cabinet and Syse's Cabinet), and finally the 2000s (decade) Bondevik's Second Cabinet.[10]


The Conservative Party of Norway (Høyre) was founded in 1884 after the implementation of parliamentarism in Norway as a reaction to the then left-leaning Liberal Party, the only political party at the time. Emil Stang was the first chairman. Ever since its creation, the party has been one of the larger political parties in Norway. For many years, it was the largest non-socialist party in Norway and has taken part in many governments, the last being the second Bondevik cabinet from 2001 until 2005.

It lost its position as the second largest political party in Norway with a historically bad election in 2005, receiving only 14.1 percent of the vote, and failed again to take back the distinction in 2009. It is currently the third largest party in the Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget, after the Labour Party and the Progress Party. During the local elections of 2011, however, the party gained 27.6 percent of the vote, and it has since then, without exceptions, polled first and second.

Høyre is currently in power in four of Norway's five largest cities: Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Kristiansand, also being the largest party in all of these four cities. Over half of the Norwegian population lives in a municipality governed by Høyre.


Høyre is considered a reform party profess to the moderately conservative political tradition, adhering to the thoughts of Edmund Burke. The party is committed to fiscal free market policies, including tax cuts and relatively little government involvement in the economy. It does, however, support the continued existence of the Norwegian welfare state.

Høyre is also the only party in the Storting which proposes a reduction in public spending. The party is often associated with wealth and has historically been attacked by the left for defending the country's richest, though this argument is rarely presented any more. The Conservative Party's social policies are quite liberal: the party voted in 2008 for a law that recognised same-sex marriage and gay adoption rights.[11]

It is also in favour of Norwegian membership in the European Union, although stating that this is not a priority, nor realistic in the short term, as Norwegians have rejected membership in two referendums and opinion polls show that two-thirds of Norwegians oppose membership.



The party has 28,000 registered members (2011). The Central Board of the Conservative Party meets seven times a year to discuss important matters such as budget, organisational work, plans, party platforms, drawing up political lines.

Parliamentary (Storting) elections 1906–2013

Year  % of votes Seats Year  % of votes Seats Year  % of votes Seats
1906 32.7% 35 1936 21.3% 36 1981 31.8% 53
1909 41.5% 41 1945 17% 25 1985 30.4% 50
1912 32.6% 20 1949 17.8% 23 1989 22.2% 37
1915 29% 20 1953 18.8% 27 1993 17.0% 28
1918 30% 40 1957 18.9% 29 1997 14.3% 23
1921 33.4% 42 1961 19.3% 29 2001 21.2% 38
1924 32.5% 54 1965 20.3% 31 2005 14.1% 23
1927 24% 30 1969 18.8% 29 2009 17.2% 30
1930 27.4% 41 1973 17.2% 29 2013 26.8% 48
1933 20.2% 30 1977 24.5% 41

List of party chairmen and leaders


  • Sigbjørn Aanes (the party's incumbent Chief of Communications—kommunikasjonssjef[12][13]

Associated organizations

The Conservative Party of Norway is an Associate member of the European People's Party (EPP) and full member of the International Democrat Union (IDU).

See also

Conservatism portal
Norway portal
Politics portal


External links

  • (Norwegian) Høyre - Official site
  • (English) Conservative Party (Høyre) - Information in English
  • (Norwegian) Unge Høyre - Official site of the Young Conservatives
  • (Norwegian) Høyres Studenterforbund - Site of the Conservative Students' Union
  • Election results for the Conservative Party in the 2011 local elections

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