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Leonard Ray and Hanne Marthe Narud, "Mapping the Norwegian Political Space: Some Findings From an Expert Survey," Party Politics, 6 (April 2000), 225-239.

First Paragraph:
It has long been common to discuss politics using spatial metaphors. The use of the left-right ideological axis can be traced back to the French revolution (Laponce, 1981; Demker, 1996). More recently, political scientists have begun to use multi-dimensional conceptions of political space as a basis for general theories of political conflict. Theoretical models incorporating spatial conceptions of politics have been used to predict coalition formation, explain electoral behavior and account for variations in public policy.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Policy/ideology dimensions included in present and prior research
Table 2: Reliability measures from current and prior expert surveys
Table 3: Mean standard deviations for each dimension
Table 4: Party extremity and issue salience
Table 5: Dimensionality of the Norwegian political space, 1989
Table 6: Dimensionality of the Norwegian political space, 1998
Figure 1: Party positions in the Norwegian political space, 1998
Figure 2: Party positions in the urban/rural and the taxes/spending dimensions, 1989 and 1998
Table 7: Changes in position and salience from 1989 to 1998

Last Paragraph:
The positions of parties in the Norwegian political space are now clearly incompatible with traditional two-block socialist versus non-socialist politics. The distance between the Socialist Left and Labor parties is greater now, making cooperation between them more difficult. At the same time, the Center and Christian People's parties have moved away from the Conservative Party, and cooperation among the non-socialist parties is impossible. The largest and most cohesive block of parties appears to consist of the Conservatives, the Progress Party, and the Labor Party. However, the traditional rivalry between the Labor and Conservative parties, as well as norms against collaboration with the Progress Party, make this set of parties a highly unlikely basis for a governing coalition. The interplay between traditional rivalries and current party positions has made coalition formation much more complex. This situation may be a temporary artefact of the highly disruptive EU debate, and the parties may shift back towards a simpler two-block model. Alternately, this fragmentation may be a permanent feature of the Norwegian party system.