Municipal and county council election, electoral survey
Updated: 23 June 2021
Next update: 19 January 2024
About the statistics
The statistics show the behaviour of the Norwegian electorate in local elections, e.g. party preference by age, gender education and immigrant background.
Norwegian citizens who turn 18 before the end of the election year have the right to vote in parliamentary elections. In the municipal council and county council elections, Nordic citizens also have the right to vote if they were registered as resident in Norway no later than 30 June in the election year. Other foreign nationals have the right to vote if they have been entered in the population register as a resident for the last three years before election day.
The questions are asked as follows: How interested are you in politics in general? Very interested, quite interested, not very interested, completely uninterested. In the tables we show the proportion who have answered Very interested or quite interested.
There are many different reasons why a voter might give personal votes. To what extent did the following reasons influence your decision to give a personal vote in the municipal elections?
To a large extent, To some extent, Not at all. In the tables we show the proportion who have answered To a large extent, To some extent.
Reasons not to vote
There are many different reasons why people do not vote in municipal elections. Indicate the extent to which the following reasons were important in your decision not to vote in these municipal elections... Very important, Moderately important, Slightly important, Not important. In the tables we show the proportion who answered Very important or Moderately important.
Municipal and county council election, electoral survey
Division for Population Statistics
Every fourth year.
June 23 2021
All characteristics that can identify individuals are removed from the microdataset. Anonymised microdata can be lent for research purposes through the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD).
Statistics Norway conducted the first municipal election survey in 1971. But it was not until 1995, following an initiative and funding from the Institute for Social Research (ISF), that the next one was conducted. In 2019, and between 1995-2007, Statistics Norway and ISF collaborated. From 1987 to 2011, separate voter surveys were conducted among foreign nationals and immigrants in connection with the local elections.
In 2019 and 2015, the same form is used for all those entitled to vote, with additional samples of immigrants, children of immigrants and foreign nationals with the right to vote.
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.
No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 08 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.
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.
Act on Official Statistics and Statistics Norway §§ 10 and 20.
The statistics cover a sample of the Norwegian electorate, their opinions and attitudes towards a wide range of political subjects.
Statistics Norway receives the electoral register from the Norwegian Electoral Directorate before the election. Statistics Norway merges this information with oter registers using a unique identification key for each person in the register. The entire electoral register is the basis for drawing the sample.
The local election survey 2019 has several purposes, in some of the analyzes one will be particularly concerned with differences between the municipalities. The population in Norwegian municipalities varies between around 200 and over half a million. If the purpose is to study the behavior of Norwegian voters and take into account settlement patterns etc, the sample would tend to be too small in the municipalities where not many people live. In the local elections, foreign citizens also have the right to vote, the authorities responsible integration finance a sample of persons with an immigrant background. The sample is therefore divided into three:
1) Random sample of 5,998 eligible voters drawn without taking into account the population in the municipality,
2) Stratified sample of 4,002, where we have drawn 667 eligible voters at random according to 6 municipality sizes. Municipality size is based on the population in each municipality per 01 / 07-2019. The stratification by population is identical to previous local election surveys (less than 2,500, 2,500-5,000, 5,001-10,000, 10,001-20,000, 20,001-60,000 and over 60,000 inhabitants).
3) Stratified sample among immigrants and Norwegian-born with two immigrant parents. Among immigrants, 2,000 with a country background from Western Europe etc, 3,000 from Eastern European EU countries, 3,000 among people with a country background from Africa, Asia etc. were drawn. In addition, 1,000 eligible voters under the age of 35 who are children of people with a country background from Africa, Asia etc.
The data collection for 2019 for sample 1 and sample 3 was done by self completion on the web. In sample 2, both web and telephone interview were used. The questionnaire took an average of 25 minutes to answer. The field period was from 10/09 to 05/11 - 2019. Those who did not initially respond (nonrespondents) were asked to fill out a short questionnaire of 5 minutes (follow-up survey). The respondents could choose whether they wanted to answer in Norwegian, English, Polish, Lithuanian, Urdu or Somali.
Response rate in 2019 for the various samples:
Sample_1: 35 percent, Sample_2: 54 percent: Sample_3: 35 percent.
The figures showing partychoice according to background characteristics come from the main survey or from the follow-up survey among the initially nonrepondents. These estimates are therefore based on more observations than the other tables. The estimates from the survey are weighted / calibrated according to characteristics in the population such as municipality size, gender, age, education, voted - not voted, immigration background, country background and in certain cases party elections.
Suppression with less than 25 observations.
Comparable to previous local election surveys
Errors can occur in any survey, irrespective of how comprehensive it is. Errors may arise in connection with collection as well as during processing. 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.
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.