Historical archive

Higher turnout among first-time voters

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

Almost half the first-time voters voted in the local elections this autumn. This is a major increase from 33 per cent in 2007. «This gives me confidence in the future,» says Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Liv Signe Navarsete.

Almost half the first-time voters voted in the local elections this autumn. This is a major increase from 33 per cent in 2007. «This gives me confidence in the future,» says Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Liv Signe Navarsete.

«The fact that young people embrace democracy when they see that it is threatened makes me confident about the future,» says Navarsete.

In the local elections in 2007, only 33 per cent of first-time voters actually voted. In the elections last autumn, turnout among young people increased by 13 percentage points to 46 per cent.

Researchers Johannes Bergh and Guro Ødegård at the Institute for social research emphasise the terrorist attack in Oslo and the Utøya massacre as an important reason for the strong increase in first-time voter turnout.

«We had hoped for an even stronger increase in voter turnout in the local elections last autumn than we actually achieved, but we are happy to note these figures. This means that young people mobilise when they see that other young people are attacked in their work for democracy,» says Navarsete.

The Minister is also pleased by the fact that research shows that once a person votes as a first-time voter, they are more likely to vote again.

«I hope that we will see this effect in the future and that young people will mobilise also in the coming election. Protecting and cherishing our democracy is important,» says Navarsete.

The total national voter turnout was 64.5 per cent. The background figures show that senior citizens are still more likely to vote. All age groups saw voter turnout increase compared with the election in 2007, but no-one could match the first-time voters. An impressive 78 per cent of voters aged 60 to 69 voted this autumn.

Voter turnout among 16 and 17 year-olds in the 20 municipalities which participated in the lower voting age trial was 58 per cent. These municipalities have had campaigns and measures directed at these voter groups and the Institute for social research at the Rokkan Centre will monitor and evaluate the trial.


The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development’s media line: +47 22 24 25 00.