The most important reason why the party Sentrum has now emerged is that individual members who lost the line election internally in KRF in 2018 have felt politically homeless and have worked for a new party.
It is thus not a new line of conflict in society that is the driving force, as has been the case with previous party formations that have been successful and have settled down:
- Socialist People’s Party which in the wake of the fear of nuclear weapons and NATO policy established itself as a security policy opposition.
- Carl I. Hagen who channeled popular discontent and created Frp,
- The Green Party, which triggered an increasing environmental commitment and cultivated a green profile.
The most surprising thing about yesterday’s news was that a politician like Geir Lippestad – with a Labor background – is leading the project.
And that none of the strongest profiles in Knut Arild Hareide’s or Kjell Magne Bondevik’s circle are among the founders.
The consequence for KRF
My assessment is that this is first and foremost bad news for KrF.
Not because it, as it now stands, will lead to a landslide of members. But more that the new party can act as a “watchdog” and narrow the room for maneuver for KrF in difficult negotiations with Frp.
The criticism of FRP cooperation is the core of the dissatisfaction of those who now join the new party.
The party founders could obviously have gained a stronger momentum if the FRP had not left the government.
When Siv Jensen marched out in January, Hareide was able to march in and proclaim that he now entered the constellation that is KrF’s preferred alternative – and legitimize the party also for his supporters.
At least for many of them.
Despite this, Sentrum can become a troublesome counter-vote, and create an agenda that is about Krf’s loss rather than breakthrough.
For a party fighting against the barrier, it can be troublesome.
On the other hand, the KrF leadership takes comfort in the fact that none of the leaders on the red side front the new party.
When many of them during the day have signed up and declared their loyalty to KrF, the party leadership hopes that active support for Ropstad from strong profiles on the red wing on the contrary can increase the unity in a pressured KrF.
The rest of the center
Neither the Liberal Party nor the Center Party have much to fear from the new formation.
The Liberal Party’s primary policy is a platform that overlaps on important points such as refugee policy and the environment and climate. And the tax profile does not fit well with the Liberal Party’s light blue.
District policy and the center-periphery conflict are absent in the platform of Lippestad, and thus have little appeal in Center Party circles. Praising statements about the EU reinforce the argument.
The Green Party may have some more cause for concern.
The environmental commitment has meant that MDG has recruited from former KRF and especially KRFU members. The Green Party’s liberal profile in the recent biotechnology decision, and the internal dissent about abortion after 12 or 18 weeks in the MDGs’ program debate, show that there is a value-political current in the MDGs that could make sense for the new party. However, the concern is not great in the MDGs’ leadership, because voters who have the environment and climate as their most important issue will prefer a safer card than a political debutant in an important parliamentary election.
Downtown a slight tremor, but no earthquake
It will be very surprising if the new party enters the Storting with many representatives.
The reason is that the party profiles itself with a program that coincides with many of the established parties.
As the parliamentary elections approach, the government issue after eight years with the Solberg government will be high on the agenda.
The most important thing a center-left opposition can mobilize on is the need for a “new course” and a new government.
Lippestad and his new party have declared support for Støre as prime minister.
But the risk of wasting one vote will make the threshold very high, even for voters with a sense of the Center’s idealistic project