There used to be two sides to politics in Norway - one left wing, with the Labour party (Arbeiderpartiet) as the major player, and one conservative wing, headed by Høyre. It's been like that since just after WWII. Those two parties commanded well in excess of 50% of the votes. Now, we've got a socialist coalition government with Arbeiderpartiet holding the coveted prime minister post. And the featured opposition party is now Fremskrittspartiet, which has completely bypassed and pimp-slapped Høyre with respect to position in media and, one would suspect, polls.
So my question is; how in the blue hell did Høyre screw up this bad and let a relatively newcomer take its slot as the number two political party in Norway? It's always been a rule that in order to take the champ out, you've got to knock him out, not just win by points. Høyre had a number of things going for them, not the least tradition (including pre-conceived notions in both people's and media's minds) and sheer votes. The path of least resistance is the most travelled, and when someone's looking for an interview with the number one contender, it's by far easiest to look up the one who's been holding that bag the longest. Every time a socialist government has been up for evaluation in the form of election, that's been Høyre.
So how did Fremskrittspartiet manage to pull this off? Despite having several of its members making public statements more suitable for political suicide than for strengthening their position, even.
I figure it comes down to two things; sheer incompetence from Høyre, and a fantastic job by the leader of Fremskrittspartiet, Siv Jensen. So; even though they're so not getting my vote - well done Fremskrittspartiet. Høyre better dig up someone who's actually charismatic to lead them - something they've been sorely lacking since Willoch in the 80's........