|Voters abandon Conservatives|
| [31.08.2007, 12:25am, Fri. GMT]|
|The Conservative Party drops almost four percentage points in the latest poll, after the tax evasion scandal involving Conservative Oslo Mayor Per Ditlev-Simonsen. It appears that the tax scandal involving Oslo Mayor Per Ditlev-Simonsen, who this week admitted to having a Swiss bank account that was not reported to Norwegian tax authorities, has turned voters against the Conservative Party (Høyre). |
While the Conservative Party enjoyed the support of 18,4 percent of the electorate in early August, a new poll published Wednesday by newspaper Dagbladet showed that the party currently only has the support of 14,6 percent of voters.Vice-President of the Conservative Party Per-Kristian Foss said he was disappointed by the result, calling it "not good enough." He denied, however, that the Conservative Mayor’s tax evasion had anything to do with his party's sudden drop in popularity, instead blaming the media's focus on the Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet) and the Progress Party (Fremkrittspartiet) during the early stages of the election campaign.
While admitting that the tax scandal likely had shifted voters attention from his party’s policies, Foss further said that he did not think that the past week's events would cause long-term damage to the party.
Oslo Mayor Ditlev-Simonsen apologized Monday for failing to report a Swiss bank account to Norwegian tax authorities, but refused to resign.
A poll conducted earlier this week showed that while 45 percent of Oslo residents questioned feel Ditlev-Simonsen should resign as mayor, another 43 percent believe he should be allowed to continue. Per Ditlev-Simonsen was scheduled to retire in October, after this September’s local election.
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