One in three changed party
vund, Storting election, election survey, party loyalty, voter migration, abstainersGeneral elections, Elections

Storting election, election survey

More figures from previous election studies will be added to Statbank.


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Key figures

1 in 3

changed party

Figure 1. Percent of volatile voters

About the statistics


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Abbreviations of party names:

The Norwegian Labour Party - A

Socialist Left Party - SV

Red Election Alliance - RV

Centre Party - Sp

Christian Democrat Party - KrF

Liberals - V

Conservatives - H

Progress Party - Frp

Liberal Peoples Party - DLF

Political Party - PP

Standard classifications

Not relevant

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Storting election, election survey
Topic: Elections

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Population Statistics

Regional level


Frequency and timeliness

Every fourth year.

International reporting

Not relevant


Data on micro level, information about sample units, population, and catalogues are stored for later (panel). The data file is transmitted to The Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD).


Background and purpose

In Norway, election surveys connected to the Storting elections have a long tradition. In 1957, Henry Valen and Stein Rokkan started the Programme on electoral research at the Institute for Social Research in Oslo. An essential part of this programme has been conducting the election surveys. In Norway we therefore have a unique time series about Norwegian politics and the Norwegian electorate dating back to 1957. From 1977 and onwards, the election surveys connected to the Storting election have been carried out as a joint venture between Statistics Norway and the Institute of Social Sciences. In 1969 and 1973, Statistics Norway carried out their own election surveys in connection to the Storting election. These surveys are among the most important sources to knowledge about Norwegian politics and the Norwegian electorate. They are also a part of one of the longest running research programmes in Norwegian social sciences.

Users and applications

Researchers and students in a wide range of social sciences use the statistics and analyses. Examples are political science, sociology, media and communication. Journalists, the political parties and public management are other important users. Journalists, researchers and student from abroad are also users of the statistics.

Access to figures before data is released

Institute for Social Research is granted access to datafiles, figures, publications and reports before data is released by Statistics Norway. Statistics Norway and Institute for Social Research publish figures and results at the same time.

Coherence with other statistics

Other statistics about the general election.

Legal authority


EEA reference

Not relevant



The statistics cover a sample of the Norwegian electorate aged from 17 to 79 years, their opinions and attitudes towards a wide range of political subjects.

Data sources and sampling

The population register combined with interview data from persons who were possible to reach. In addition, information about voting for all persons in the sample was given from the municipalities.

Number of persons selected to the sample in 2001: 3000

Gross sample 2001: 2950

Net sample 2001: 2052 (number of persons who were actually interviewed)

The sample is a rolling panel, which means that half of those selected in the sample in 2001, were in the sample also in 1997. The other half of the sample, those who were selected as new ones in 2001, will also be in the 2005 sample.

The sample was drawn from BEBAS (a database which includes all persons living in Norway) using the sample plan of Statistics Norway. In this sample plan, the country is divided in to a number of sample areas, and they are again divided into 109 strata. The sample areas are municipalities or groups of municipalities. Municipalities with few inhabitants are grouped together with other municipalities, in such a way that all sample areas have at least 7 percent of the total number of inhabitants in the given strata. In some cases, smaller municipalities are joined with a neighbouring larger municipality. All municipalities with more than 30 000 inhabitants, and some municipalities with between 25 000 and 30 000 inhabitants, are defined as one strata on their own.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Personal interview. One-hour duration. As a rule, the interview should be don by face-to-face interview, unless the respondent asked to be interviewed by telephone. Computer is used in the interviewing. The interviewer reads the questions from the screen, an registers the answers directly into the data programme.


Compared with prior elections

Comparability over time and space

Election surveys connected to the Storting elections have been carried out since 1957. The recent survey, as a joint venture between Statistics Norway and the Institute for Social Research in Oslo began in 1977. The survey is to a large extent comparable to all Norwegian election survey since 1957

The Norwegian Election survey is a part of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES). CSES is a collaborative program of cross-national research among election studies conducted in over fifty states. It consist of a common module of public opinion survey questions is included in each participant country's post-election study. These "micro" level data include vote choice, candidate and party evaluations, current and retrospective economic evaluations, evaluation of the electoral system itself, in addition to standardized sociodemographic measures.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Errors can occur in any survey, irrespective of how comprehensive it is. Errors may arise in connection with collection as well as during processing. The interviewers used Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI), programmed in Blaise when the survey was conducted. Statistics Norway has about 130 interviewers distributed throughout all sample areas. The interviewers are equipped with laptop PCs for use during personal interviews. The interviewers read the question from the monitor and register the answer directly on the computer. CAPI reduces the possibility for collection errors and almost eliminate processing errors. Errors during collection, measurements errors, may arise when a respondent gives the wrong answer or when an interviewer register the wrong answer or does not fill in enough data on the computer.

Filters are followed solely on the basis of pre-programming and not on the interpretation of the interviewers. CAPI gives the respondent the right questions, based on previously answers. It also provides a direct control of the consistency in the answers. CAPI also allow us the randomise questions (to a much larger extent then with paper forms). In this survey many variables are programmed in a randomised order, this eliminate measurement errors due to in what order the questions are read to the respondents. For every question there are limits for allowed values. In adition there is also an extensive warning system that signals if the interviewer registers an answer that is logical inconsistent with a previous answer.

The facts described above provide larger quality of the data, in compare with paper forms. There are fewer errors due to the facts that an interviewer registers a wrong answer. Few or none not-allowed values are coded, and the risk of interviewers taking wrong turns in filters and giving the respondents the wrong questions are reduced. CAPI does not eliminate measurement errors. There are still risks that a respondent give a wrong answer. There may be many reasons why respondents give wrong answers, e.g., the may have trouble recalling activities that took place long ago, there may be misunderstandings, the respondent want to embellish the truth if the questions are experienced as sensitive, and some answers may be considered more socially acceptable than others.

A total of 2950 persons were contacted for interview. The number of non-respondents was 888 or 31,4 per cent of the total sample. Non-response may lead to sample bias. If the percentage of non-respondents in different groups deviates to a considerable degree, the net sample (the sample of persons interviewed) will only approximately have the same statistical proportion as the gross sample (the sample selected for interviewing)

In principle, statements about bias because of non-response must be linked to variables. If one has found that there is no bias because of non-response in a certain variable, this does not imply that there is no effect of non-response on other variables, and vice versa.

The uncertainty of the findings based on only a part of the population, is often called sample variance. Standard deviation is a measure of this uncertainty. The size of standard deviation depends, among other factors, on the number of observations in the sample, and on the distribution of the current variable in the whole population. The estimate of standard deviation can be computed by using the observation in the sample.