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Det norske Arbeiderparti

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Title: Det norske Arbeiderparti  
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Subject: Odvar Nordli, Einar Gerhardsen, Johan Nygaardsvold, Nortraship, Konrad Knudsen
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Det norske Arbeiderparti

Labour Party
Leader Jens Stoltenberg
Parliamentary leader Jens Stoltenberg
Slogan "Alle skal med"
("Everyone on" or "Everybody in this")
Founded 1887
Headquarters Youngstorget 2 A, 5th floor Oslo
Youth wing Workers' Youth League
Membership 200,500 (peak, 1950)[1]
55,869 (2011)[2]
Ideology Social democracy[3]
Political position Centre-left
International affiliation Progressive Alliance,
Socialist International (Observer)
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
Nordic affiliation SAMAK
Colours Red
Parliament Template:Infobox political party/seats
County Councils[4] Template:Infobox political party/seats
Municipal / City Councils[5] Template:Infobox political party/seats
Sami Parliament Template:Infobox political party/seats
Politics of Norway
Political parties
* Formerly member of Comintern (1919–1923) and Labour and Socialist International (1938–1940).

The Labour Party (Norwegian: Arbeiderpartiet, A/Ap) is a social-democratic[3][6][7][8] political party in Norway. It is the senior partner of the Red-Green Coalition, and its leader, Jens Stoltenberg, is the former Prime Minister of Norway.

The Labour Party is officially committed to social-democratic ideals. Its slogan since the 1930s has been "work for everyone", and the party seeks a strong welfare state, funded through taxes and duties.[9] During the last 20 years, the party has included more of the principles of a social market economy in its policy, allowing for privatisation of government-held assets and services and reducing income tax progressivity, following the wave of economic liberalisation in the 1980s. The Labour Party profiles itself as a progressive party that subscribes to cooperation on a national as well as international level. Its youth wing is the Workers' Youth League. The party is a full member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, and is an observer member of the Socialist International.

Founded in 1887, the party steadily increased in support until it became the largest party in Norway in 1927, a position it has held ever since. This year also saw the consolidation of conflicts surrounding the party during the 1920s following its membership in the Comintern from 1919 to 1923. It formed its first government in 1928, and has led the government for all but 16 years since 1935. From 1945 to 1961, the party had an absolute majority in the Norwegian parliament, the only time this has ever happened in Norwegian history. During this time, Norway was casually referred to as a "one party state". The domination by the Labour Party, during the 1960s and early 1970s, was initially broken by competition from the left, primarily from the Socialist People's Party. From the end of the 1970s however, the party started to lose voters to the right, leading to a turn to the right for the party under Gro Harlem Brundtland during the 1980s. In 2001 the party achieved its worst electoral results since 1924, forcing it to commit to a co-operation agreement with other parties in order to form a majority government.[9]


The party was founded in 1887 in Arendal and first ran in elections to the Parliament of Norway in 1894. It entered Parliament in 1904 after the 1903 election, and steadily increased its vote until 1927, when it became the largest party. The party were members of Comintern, a Communist organisation, between 1918 and 1923.[10]

From the establishment of Vort Arbeide in 1884, the party had a growing and notable organisation of newspapers and other press outlets. The party press system eventually resulted in Norsk Arbeiderpresse (“Norwegian Labour Press”, now A-pressen). In January 1913 the party had 24 newspapers, and 6 more newspapers were founded in 1913. The party also had the periodical Det 20de Aarhundre.[11] In 1920 the party had 33 newspapers and 6 semi-affiliated newspapers.[12] The party had its own publishing house, Det norske Arbeiderpartis forlag, succeeded by Tiden Norsk Forlag. In addition to books and pamphlets, Det norske Arbeiderpartis forlag published Maidagen (annual May Day publication), Arbeidets Jul (annual Christmas publication) and Arbeiderkalenderen (calendar).[13]

From its roots as a radical alternative to the political establishment, the party grew to its current dominance through several eras:

The party experienced a split in 1921 caused by a decision made two years earlier to join the Communist International, and the Social Democratic Labour Party of Norway was formed. In 1923 the party left the Communist International, while a significant minority of its members left the party to form the Communist Party of Norway. In 1927, the Social Democrats were reunited with Labour. Some Communists also joined Labour, whereas other Communists tried a failed merger endeavor which culminated in the formation of the Arbeiderklassens Samlingsparti.

In 1928, Christopher Hornsrud formed Labour's first government; it lasted only two weeks. During the early 1930s Labour abandoned its revolutionary profile and set a reformist course. Labour then returned to government in 1935 and remained in power until 1965 (except for the World War II exile period between 1940–1945 and one month in 1963). During most of the first twenty years after World War II, Einar Gerhardsen led the party and the country. He is often referred to as "Landsfaderen" (Father of the Nation), and is generally considered one of the main architects of the rebuilding of Norway after World War II. This is often considered the "golden age" of the Norwegian Labour Party.

The party was a member of the Labour and Socialist International between 1938 and 1940.[14]

In 1958 two Workers' Youth League (Norway) members (Berge Furre and Kåre Sollund) contacted MPs of the labour party, to have MPs sign a petition, as a part of what is known as the Easter Uprising of the Labour Party.[15] All the MPs who signed, except one—later retracted their signatures.[15]

Other periods of the Labour Party's leadership of the national government have been 1971-1972, 1973–1981, 1986–1989, 1990–1997, 2000–2001 and since 2005. Thus, the party has held power for all but 16 of the last 77 years (as of 2012).

In the election in 2001 the party reached a low point of 24.3% of the popular vote, but was still the largest party in the Storting (parliament). In the election of 2005 the party regained support and received 32.7% of the popular vote. It is the leading partner in the centre-left Red-Green Coalition, which won a majority in the 2005 elections. Labour leader Jens Stoltenberg became Prime Minister and lead a coalition government, the first coalition government that the Labour Party has entered. Stoltenberg was previously Prime Minister from 2000 to 2001.

In 2011, the party changed its official name from the Norwegian Labour Party (Det norske arbeiderparti) to the Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet). The party claimed there had been confusion among voters at polling stations because of the difference between the official name, Norwegian Labour Party, and the common use name "Labour Party". The name change will cause Arbeiderpartiet to appear on the ballot, thus eliminating any potential confusion.[16][17]

On 22 July 2011, a gunman opened fire at the Labour Party's youth camp (ages 13–25), killing 69 people, and killing 8 more in Oslo by a bomb towards a Government building (which is led by Labour Party).

Party leaders

Labour Prime Ministers

Parliamentary election results

Parliament of Norway
Date Votes Seats Position Leader
# ±
1894 0.3 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Steady 0 Opposition Gustav A. Olsen-Berg
1897 0.6 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Steady 0 Opposition Carl Jeppesen
1900 5.2 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Steady 0 Opposition Ludwig Meyer
1903 12.1 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 4 Opposition Christian Holtermann Knudsen
1906 15.9 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 7 Opposition Christian Holtermann Knudsen
1909 21.5 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Steady 0 Opposition Oscar Nilssen
1912 26.2 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 12 Opposition Christian Holtermann Knudsen
1915 32.0 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 4 Opposition Christian Holtermann Knudsen
1918 31.6 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 1 Opposition Christian Holtermann Knudsen
1921 21.3 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 11 Opposition Kyrre Grepp
1924 18.4 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 5 Opposition Oscar Torp
1927 36.8 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 35 Government Oscar Torp
1930 31.4 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 12 Opposition Oscar Torp
1933 40.1 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 22 Opposition Oscar Torp
1936 42.5 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 1 Government Oscar Torp
1945 41.0 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 6 Government Einar Gerhardsen
1949 45.7 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 9 Government Einar Gerhardsen
1953 46.7 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 8 Government Einar Gerhardsen
1957 48.3 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 1 Government Einar Gerhardsen
1961 46.8 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 4 Government Einar Gerhardsen
1965 43.1 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 6 Opposition Einar Gerhardsen
1969 46.5 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 6 Opposition Trygve Bratteli
1973 35.3 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 12 Government Trygve Bratteli
1977 42.3 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 14 Government Reiulf Steen
1981 37.1 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 11 Opposition Reiulf Steen
1985 40.8 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 6 Opposition Gro Harlem Brundtland
1989 34.3 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 8 Opposition Gro Harlem Brundtland
1993 36.9 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 4 Government Thorbjørn Jagland
1997 35.0 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 2 Opposition Thorbjørn Jagland
2001 24.3 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 22 Opposition Thorbjørn Jagland
2005 32.7 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 18 Government Jens Stoltenberg
2009 35.4 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Increase 3 Government Jens Stoltenberg
2013 30.8 % Template:Infobox political party/seats Decrease 9 Opposition Jens Stoltenberg


External links

  • (Norwegian) Arbeiderpartiet - Official site
  • (English) [1] - Information in English
  • Election results for the Labour Party in the 2011 local elections

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