Norway's local elections test welcome for Syrian refugees

September 14, 2015 17:25

OSLO - Norway's anti-immigration Progress Party may be facing its worst election result in 20 years in municipal voting on Monday as its hostility to Syrian refugees leaves it out of step with a more welcoming mood in the Nordic nation in the last month or so.

Progress has sought to turn the municipal election into a vote on a plan it opposes to take in 8,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2017, arguing that locally elected politicians could simply refuse to accept refugees.The two parties in the right-wing minority government, the Conservatives and Progress, have also lost ground since 2013 parliamentary elections after tax cuts that have mainly benefited the rich.

Opinion polls show support for Progress was likely to fall far short of the 16.3 percent in a parliamentary vote two years ago and may drop below the 11.4 percent it got in the local elections in 2011, its lowest showing since 1995.

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