Tag Archives: election

NORWAY’S GOV’T GETS ‘GREEN’ LIGHT FOR CHANGE – WILL IT AFFECT SVALBARD? Labor to replace Conservatives after election, but local policies and Arctic oil drilling likely to go on


Photo of incoming Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Longearbyen Mayor Arild Olsen by Marte Kristiansen / Norwegian Labor Party

Norway’s government is changing as the Labor Party is set to replace the Conservative-led coalition after last Monday’s election. But the governing of Svalbard likely won’t change in most matters despite climate and environmental issues dominating the campaign, according to local officials and others familiar with the archipelago’s politics.

Still, potential changes in environmental and/or economic actions such as oil exploration in the waters around Svalbard could have significant long-term impacts – but analysts are at polar opposites predicting if that will happen.

ANY VOTES IN FAVOR OF NOT VOTING? Everyone seems to hate a proposal preventing foreign residents from participating in Longyearbyen’s elections; here’s a few who support it


You know those elections where the leader of Turkmenistan, North Korea, etc. wins with 99 percent of the vote – and ever wonder who the “one-percenters” are?

A similarly lopsided tally is surfacing on social media in response to a proposal to essentially ban foreigners from local elections in Longyearbyen – but a few souls are speaking out in favor of the surprising suggestion made by Norway’s government this week.

SHAKE AND MAKE UP: Labor-led local council forms new alliances and names committees at first post-election meeting


Plenty of handshakes, smiles and congratulations – along with lots of pro forma yea/nay votes – were exchanged by former and newfound rivals as the newly elected Longyearbyen Community Council met for the first time Monday night to formally vote on leadership and committee positions.

LABOR OUTMANEUVERS LIBERALS: Incumbents keep council majority by luring Conservative and Progressive parties


The Labor Party is set to extend its 16-year leadership of the Longyearbyen Community Council for another four years by forming a majority with the Conservative and Progress parties, who say they didn’t form a coalition with the strong-finishing Liberal Party because its offer focused on appointments to positions but not policy concessions.

WHEN BALLOTS GO BONKERS: How did Liberals narrow the vote gap with Labor, yet lose a council seat? Say hello to the Webster/Sainte-Laguë method


The simple version is Labor Party supporters were more inclined to be straight-ticket voters, while those inclined toward the Liberal Party spread more of their votes among other parties.

That’s how the Labor and Liberal parties went from five seats each on the Longyearbyen Community Council, when there was a nine-vote difference immediately after the election, to Liberals losing a seat a day later in the official count, even though they narrowed the vote margin to a mere five ballots.

Beyond that, trying to explain the formula used to allocate seats or ponder “what-if” scenarios if a person (or three) had voted differently is easy to explain only (and then only maybe) if you’ve got a PhD in mathematics (and then only maybe). Or if you actually are familiar with something called the Webster/Sainte-Laguë method.

ELECTION 2019: Labor get big boost from a few final votes, gaining one council seat advantage over Liberals in official tally


A few uncounted votes significantly and strangely shook up the Longyearbyen Community Council on Tuesday evening, as the Labor Party’s lead over the Liberal Party shrank to five votes (from nine in the preliminary count), yet the 350-345 tally was enough to give Labor a one-seat advantage on the 15-member council with five members compared to four for Liberals.

Both parties got five seats in the preliminary count announced Monday, but the seat Liberals lost a day later was given to the Conservative Party which finished with 190 votes and three council seats. The Progress Party with 130 votes retained its two seats and the Green Party with 97 votes retained one.

The question now is how much, if at all, the official count affects negotiations to form a majority coalition on the council. 

ELECTION 2019: Labor barely wins most votes (for now), but Liberals poised to take over leadership of local council

Labor barely won the most votes as of now, but Liberals are the ones who may be claiming victory for the next four years.

Who will lead Longyearbyen during the next four years remains very much in doubt following the local council election, as a preliminary vote count Monday night shows Labor edging Liberals 342 to 333. Both parties will get five of the 15 council seats with those totals and, while Labor has presided over the majority for the past 16 years, Liberals may have the advantage in forming a majority coalition during discussions in the coming days with the three other parties on the ballot.

ELECTION LIVEBLOG: Results, reactions and rants about the 2019 Longyearbyen Community Council vote from Stationen


(BREAKING – “FINAL” MONDAY RESULTS: Labor (342 votes) and Liberal (333) parties finish in virtual tie, win five seats each; Conservative (184) and Progressive (126) parties each win two seats, Green Party (98) wins one seat. Makeup of next majority is murky. Official results to be released Tuesday. See details after jump)

Welcome to Stationen, where candidates and politicos are gathered for the results of the 2019 Longyearbyen Community Council vote. This liveblog began when the polls closed at 8 p.m. and will post happenings as they happen, so to speak, in reverse chronological order (in other words, those just wanting to skim the top of this for the latest numbers can do so without wading through the mad wordiage further down).

Emphasis: Tonight’s tally is likely to be preliminary, with full official results released tomorrow. But barring tight margins and unexpected alliances (both of which happened last time), tonight’s results should indicate who the leaders of Longyearbyen will be for the next four years.

Bang the box below for all of this evening’s updates…

ELECTION 2019: Residents showing up steadily to select new Longyearbyen Community Council; voting continues until 8 p.m. tonight


Voters showed up steadily Sunday afternoon, the first of the two-day Longyearbyen Community Council election, with polls open today at Kulturhuset from 10 a.m. to 8 a.m.

ELECTION 2019 – LAST STANDS: Parties and candidates out in force with fliers and swag a day before vote; here’s the ‘unfiltered’ version of their pitches to voters


Voters found themselves facing a truly difficult choice considering the city’s chilly situation: get warmth from waffles from the incumbents, a head/neck scarf from their main opposition or coffee from the kingmakers?

Or they could rough it either with the folks most inclined embrace nature naturally or the newcomers seeking to be naysayers.

All five political parties on the ballot gathered in front of Svalbardbutikken on Saturday to make last-minute pitches before the Longyearbyen Community Council election Sunday and Monday. The three parties with the most current members (Labor, Conservative and Liberal) set up tables with food and/or swag to hand out along with campaign brochures, while the Green and Progress parties opted for the simpler approach of members merely handing out their literature.