After massacre, Norway's Labour Party sees popularity soar

AFP , Sunday 31 Jul 2011

Norway’s Labour Party soared in popularity to the detriment of conservative parties, according to a poll, after Labour's youth were massacred on a solitary island by the xenophobic Breivik

Norway's ruling Labour Party, which was the target of the bloody twin attacks on 22 July, has seen its popularity soar since the massacre, a poll published Sunday showed.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's party received 41.7 per cent support in a Synovate poll of 500 people carried out between 29-30 July -- a hike of 11.1 percentage points from a similar poll conducted a month ago.

The populist right Progress Party, of which the confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik had been a member until 2006, meanwhile lost three points, landing at 16.5-per cent support.

The immigration-skeptical party, which has long held the position of Norway's second largest party and the largest one in opposition, was thus trailing far behind the opposition Conservative Party, although it, too, took a hit, falling to 23.7 per cent from 28.5 per cent in June.

Stoltenberg, whose own offices were among those hit in the bombing in Oslo that killed eight people and whose party's island youth camp was the site of a shooting massacre that killed 69 others, has been widely hailed for his handling of the crisis.

He has been lauded for his calls for tolerance and his calming presence and support to victims and their families.

Behring Breivik, 32, has said he carried out the attacks that left a total of 77 dead to ward off a "Muslim invasion" and fight European multiculturalism.

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