May 13, 2016 / 11:02 AM / in 2 years

Support for Norway's ruling Conservatives at 20-month high: poll

OSLO (Reuters) - Support for Norway’s ruling Conservative Party is at its highest since September 2014, giving a comfortable majority for the government and its backers in parliament, a poll for newspaper Aftenposten showed on Friday.

Chairman of the Conservative Party in Norway, Erna Solberg, speaks with media personnel in Oslo, September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Lise Aserud/NTB Scanpix

The Conservatives polled 25.5 percent in the survey by Respons Analyse, a rise of 2.7 points from April, while the Progress Party, the junior partner in the minority coalition, fell 1.4 points to 15.3 percent.

The government headed by Prime Minister Erna Solberg relies on the backing in parliament of the centrist Liberal Party and Christian Democrats, which saw only minor changes in their support. The next general election is due in September 2017.

Since 2014, oil-producing Norway has sharply increased spending from its sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, to combat a rise in unemployment triggered by the fall in crude prices.

“The results of the government’s policies are becoming more visible, and the voters seem to like what they see,” Solberg told Aftenposten.

The poll of 1,001 respondents indicated the four parties would win 94 seats in parliament, a loss of two from the current level but well ahead of the 85 required to retain a majority.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Andrew Roche

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