- Title: Young generation revulsed by Breivik may sway Norway's election
- Date: 6th September 2017
- Summary: UTOYA, NORWAY (FILE - JULY 23, 2011) (REUTERS) UTOYA ISLAND VARIOUS OF COVERED BODIES ON UTOYA ISLAND AMBULANCE ON ISLAND BOAT CARRYING BODIES APPROACHING MAINLAND RESCUE PERSONNEL CARRYING BODY TO TENT
- Embargoed: 20th September 2017 15:08
- Keywords: young people voting Norway elections Breivik Utoya attack
- Location: OSLO, HAMAR, SKIEN AND UTOEYA, NORWAY
- City: OSLO, HAMAR, SKIEN AND UTOEYA, NORWAY
- Country: Norway
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0026XGLOP3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Young Norwegians, politicised by the massacre of 77 people by far-right militant Anders Behring Breivik, will play a key role in an election next week that could hinge on issues close to their hearts, such as climate change.
In 2011 Breivik killed eight people in a bombing in central Oslo and gunned down another 69 at a Labour Party youth camp on Utoya Island, in the worst attacks in Norway since World War Two.
They motivated a generation of young people, often children or teenagers at the time, to become more involved in mainstream politics - both on the left and the right - in a backlash against his xenophobic and anti-Muslim world view. They are also more likely to actually cast their ballots, analysis of voting trends shows.
Anja Ariel Toernes Brekke, 21, who joined the youth wing of the Labour Party a few weeks after Breivik's attacks said she had felt so powerless that day and needed to do something constructive. She is now the general secretary of the far-left Red party's youth wing.
Brekke is touring schools in Norway to get the youth vote out. On a recent morning, she was at the Cathedral School in Hamar, some 120 km (75 miles) north of Oslo, to take part in a debate with other young politicians in front of 1,250 high-school students packed in a gym hall.
Younger voters tend to care more than the average Norwegian about issues such as schools, climate change and the environment, especially linked to Norway's oil and gas.
The trend has been called "Generation Utoya" by the political scientist who identified it, Johannes Bergh at the Institute of Social Research in Oslo.
According to Bergh's research, some 13.8 per cent of first-time voters said they belonged to a party in 2013, the last time a parliamentary election took place, up from 6.0 percent in 2009.
The more-than-doubling was higher than the increase reported for all voters the study showed and it was across the political spectrum - not just for Labour, the target of Breivik's attack.
Young people are also voting more since "July 22" - the common shorthand for the killings by Breivik, who is serving a 21-year jail term that can be extended indefinitely.
The future of Norway's oil industry has emerged as a key issue for voters in next Monday's (September 11) parliamentary election.
The small but growing Green Party, which pledges to stop oil exploration and phase out production within 15 years, is emerging as a potential key in deciding who will get to govern.
The environment was certainly on the minds of some first-time voters in Hamar.
Seventeen-year-old student Signe Dahl told Reuters Norway needed to turn away from being an oil nation and into an environmental nation and her friend Silje Fugleberg,18, said other resources, such as wind and water, should be considered rather than just oil.
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