Parliament of Norway



The Storting ( no, Stortinget ) (lit. the Great
Thing Thing or The Thing may refer to: Philosophy * An object * Broadly, an entity * Thing-in-itself (or ''noumenon''), the reality that underlies perceptions, a term coined by Immanuel Kant * Thing theory, a branch of critical theory that focus ...
) is the supreme legislature of Norway, established in 1814 by the
Constitution of Norway nb, Kongeriket Norges Grunnlov nn, Kongeriket Noregs Grunnlov , jurisdiction =Kingdom of Norway , date_created =10 April - 16 May 1814 , date_ratified =16 May 1814 , system =Constitutional monarchy , b ...
. It is located in Oslo. The unicameral parliament has 169 members and is elected every four years based on
party-list proportional representation Party-list proportional representation (list-PR) is a subset of proportional representation electoral systems in which multiple candidates are elected (e.g., elections to parliament) through their position on an electoral list. They can also be u ...
in nineteen multi-seat constituencies. A member of Stortinget is known in Norwegian as a ''stortingsrepresentant'', literally "Storting representative". The assembly is led by a president and, since 2009, five vice presidents: the presidium. The members are allocated to twelve standing committees as well as four procedural committees. Three
ombudsmen An ombudsman (, also ,), ombud, ombuds, ombudswoman, ombudsperson or public advocate is an official who is usually appointed by the government or by parliament (usually with a significant degree of independence) to investigate complaints and at ...
are directly subordinate to parliament: the Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee and the Office of the Auditor General.
Parliamentarianism Parliamentary sovereignty, also called parliamentary supremacy or legislative supremacy, is a concept in the constitutional law of some parliamentary democracies. It holds that the legislative body has absolute sovereignty and is supreme over al ...
was established in 1884, with the Storting operating a form of "qualified unicameralism", in which it divided its membership into two internal chambers making Norway a de facto
bicameral Bicameralism is a type of legislature, one divided into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicameral legislature. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single gro ...
parliament, the Lagting and the Odelsting. Following a constitutional amendment in 2007, this was abolished, taking effect following the 2009 election. Following the 2021 election, ten parties are represented in parliament: the Labour Party (48), the Conservative Party (36), the Centre Party (28), the Progress Party (21), the Socialist Left Party (13), the Red Party (8), the
Liberal Party The Liberal Party is any of many political parties around the world. The meaning of ''liberal'' varies around the world, ranging from liberal conservatism on the right to social liberalism on the left. __TOC__ Active liberal parties This is a l ...
(8), the
Christian Democratic Party __NOTOC__ Christian democratic parties are political parties that seek to apply Christian principles to public policy. The underlying Christian democracy movement emerged in 19th-century Europe, largely under the influence of Catholic social t ...
(3), the
Green Party A green party is a formally organized political party based on the principles of green politics, such as social justice, environmentalism and nonviolence. Greens believe that these issues are inherently related to one another as a foundati ...
(3), and the Patient Focus Party (1). Since 2021, Masud Gharahkhani has been President of the Storting.


The parliament in its present form was first constituted at
Eidsvoll Eidsvoll (; sometimes written as ''Eidsvold'') is a municipality in Akershus in Viken county, Norway. It is part of the Romerike traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Sundet. General information ...
in 1814, although its origins can be traced back to the allting, as early as the 9th century, a type of ''
thing Thing or The Thing may refer to: Philosophy * An object * Broadly, an entity * Thing-in-itself (or ''noumenon''), the reality that underlies perceptions, a term coined by Immanuel Kant * Thing theory, a branch of critical theory that focus ...
'', or common assembly of free men in Germanic societies that would gather at a place called a thingstead and were presided over by lawspeakers. The alltings were where legal and political matters were discussed. These gradually were formalised so that the things grew into regional meetings and acquired backing and authority from the Crown, even to the extent that on occasions they were instrumental in effecting change in the monarchy itself. As oral laws became codified and Norway unified as a geopolitical entity in the 10th century, the lagtings ("law things") were established as superior regional assemblies. During the mid-13th century, the by then archaic regional assemblies, the
Frostating The Frostating was an early Norwegian court. It was one of the four major Things in medieval Norway. The Frostating had its seat at Tinghaugen in what is now the municipality of Frosta in Trøndelag county, Norway. The name lives on in the ...
, the
Gulating Gulating ( non, Gulaþing) was one of the first Norwegian legislative assemblies, or '' things,'' and also the name of a present-day law court of western Norway. The practice of periodic regional assemblies predates recorded history, and was fi ...
, the
Eidsivating Eidsivating was the name of one of the original Norwegian popular assemblies or '' Things''. Historically, it was the site of court and assembly for the eastern parts of Norway. Summary Traditionally, Eidsivating was the court for the populati ...
and the
Borgarting The Borgarting was one of the major popular assemblies or things (''lagting'') of medieval Norway. Historically, it was the site of the court and assembly for the southern coastal region of Norway from the south-eastern border with Sweden, west ...
, were amalgamated and the corpus of law was set down under the command of King Magnus Lagabøte. This jurisdiction remained significant until King Frederick III proclaimed absolute monarchy in 1660; this was ratified by the passage of the King Act of 1665, and this became the constitution of the Union of Denmark and Norway and remained so until 1814 and the foundation of the Storting. The
Parliament of Norway Building The Storting building ( no, Stortingsbygningen) is the seat of the Storting, the parliament of Norway. The building is located at 22 Karl Johans gate in central Oslo, Norway. It was taken into use on 5 March 1866 and was designed by the Swedish ...
opened in 1866.

World War II

On 27 June 1940 the presidium signed an appeal to King Haakon, seeking his abdication. (The presidium then consisted of the presidents and vice-presidents of parliament, Odelstinget and Lagtinget. Ivar Lykke stepped in (according to mandate) in place of the president in exile, C. J. Hambro; Lykke was one f the sixwho signed.) In September 1940 the representatives were summoned to Oslo, and voted in favour of the results of the negotiations between the presidium and the authorities of the German invaders. (92 voted for, and 53 voted against.) However, directives from
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was dictator of Germany from 1933 until his death in 1945. He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming the chancellor in 1933 and th ...
resulted in the obstruction of "the agreement of cooperation between parliament and heoccupation force".

Qualified unicameralism (1814–2009)

The Storting has always been ''de jure'' unicameral, but before a constitutional amendment in 2009 it was de facto
bicameral Bicameralism is a type of legislature, one divided into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicameral legislature. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single gro ...
. After an election, the Storting would elect a quarter of its membership to form the Lagting, a sort of "upper house" or revising chamber, with the remaining three-quarters forming the Odelsting or "lower house".''A Europe of Rights: The Impact of the ECHR on National Legal Systems''
, Helen Keller, Alec Stone Sweet, Oxford University Press, 2008, page 210
The division was also used on very rare occasions in cases of
impeachment Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body or other legally constituted tribunal initiates charges against a public official for misconduct. It may be understood as a unique process involving both political and legal elements. I ...
. The original idea in 1814 was probably to have the Lagting act as an actual upper house, and the senior and more experienced members of the Storting were placed there. Later, however, the composition of the Lagting closely followed that of the Odelsting, so that there was very little that differentiated them, and the passage of a bill in the Lagting was mostly a formality. Bills were submitted by the Government to the Odelsting or by a member of the Odelsting; members of the Lagting were not permitted to propose legislation by themselves. A standing committee, with members from both the Odelsting and Lagting, would then consider the bill, and in some cases hearings were held. If passed by the Odelsting, the bill would be sent to the Lagting for review or revision. Most bills were passed unamended by the Lagting and then sent directly to the king for
royal assent Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature, either directly or through an official acting on the monarch's behalf. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in oth ...
. If the Lagting amended the Odelsting's draft, the bill would be sent back to the Odelsting. If the Odelsting approved the Lagting's amendments, the bill would be signed into law by the King. ''Norway and the Norwegians''
Robert Gordon Latham, Richard Bentley, 1840, page 89
If it did not, then the bill would return to the Lagting. If the Lagting still proposed amendments, the bill would be submitted to a plenary session of the Storting. To be passed, the bill required the approval of a two-thirds majority of the plenary session. In all other cases a simple majority would suffice. Three days had to pass between each time a chamber voted on a bill. In all other cases, such as taxes and appropriations, the Storting would meet in plenary session. A proposal to amend the constitution and abolish the Odelsting and Lagting was introduced in 2004 and was passed by the Storting on 20 February 2007 (159–1 with nine absentees). It took effect with the newly elected Storting in 2009.

Number of seats

The number of seats in the Storting has varied over the years. In 1882 there were 114 seats, increasing to 117 in 1903, 123 in 1906, 126 in 1918, 150 in 1921, 155 in 1973, 157 in 1985, 165 in 1989, and 169 as of 2005.



The legislative procedure goes through five stages. First, a bill is introduced to parliament either by a member of government or, in the case of a private member's bill, by any individual representative. Parliament will refer the bill to the relevant standing committee, where it will be subjected to detailed consideration in the committee stage. The first reading takes place when parliament debates the recommendation from the committee, and then takes a vote. If the bill is dismissed, the procedure ends. The second reading takes place at least three days after the first reading, in which parliament debates the bill again. A new vote is taken, and if successful, the bill is submitted to the
King in Council The King-in-Council or the Queen-in-Council, depending on the gender of the reigning monarch, is a constitutional term in a number of states. In a general sense, it would mean the monarch exercising executive authority, usually in the form of a ...
for royal assent. If parliament comes to a different conclusion during the second reading, a third reading will be held at least three days later, repeating the debate and vote, and may adopt the amendments from the second reading or finally dismiss the bill.

Royal assent

Once the bill has reached the King in Council, the bill must be signed by the monarch and countersigned by the prime minister. It then becomes Norwegian law from the date stated in the Act or decided by the government. Articles 77–79 of the Norwegian constitution specifically grant the King of Norway the right to withhold Royal Assent from any bill passed by the Storting.The Norwegian Constitution
. The Storting information office. Retrieved on 12 April 2007.
This right has never been exercised by any Norwegian monarch since the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905 (though it was exercised by
Swedish monarchs This is a list of Swedish kings, queens, regents and viceroys of the Kalmar Union. History The earliest record of what is generally considered to be a Swedish king appears in Tacitus' work ''Germania'', c. 100 AD (the king of the Suiones). Howe ...
before then when they ruled Norway). Should the king ever choose to exercise this privilege, Article 79 provides a means by which his veto may be overridden if the Storting passes the same bill after a general election: "If a Bill has been passed unaltered by two sessions of the Storting, constituted after two separate successive elections and separated from each other by at least two intervening sessions of the Storting, without a divergent Bill having been passed by any Storting in the period between the first and last adoption, and it is then submitted to the King with a petition that His Majesty shall not refuse his assent to a Bill which, after the most mature deliberation, the Storting considers to be beneficial, it shall become law even if the Royal Assent is not accorded before the Storting goes into recess."



presidium A presidium or praesidium is a council of executive officers in some political assemblies that collectively administers its business, either alongside an individual president or in place of one. Communist states In Communist states the presidi ...
is chaired by the President of the Storting, consisting of the president and five
vice president A vice president, also director in British English, is an officer in government or business who is below the president (chief executive officer) in rank. It can also refer to executive vice presidents, signifying that the vice president is on ...
s of the Storting. The system with five vice presidents was implemented in 2009. Before this there was a single holder of the office.

Standing committees

The members of parliament are allocated into twelve
standing committee A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons subordinate to a deliberative assembly. A committee is not itself considered to be a form of assembly. Usually, the assembly sends matters into a committee as a way to explore them more ...
s, of which eleven are related to specific political topics. The last is the Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs. The standing committees have a portfolio that covers that of one or more government ministers.

Other committees

There are four other committees, that run parallel to the standing committees. The Enlarged Committee on Foreign Affairs consists of members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, the presidium, and the parliamentary leaders. The committee discusses important issues related to foreign affairs, trade policy, and national safety with the government. Discussions are confidential. The European Committee consists of the members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence and the parliamentary delegation to the
European Economic Area The European Economic Area (EEA) was established via the ''Agreement on the European Economic Area'', an international agreement which enables the extension of the European Union's single market to member states of the European Free Trade A ...
(EEA) and the
European Free Trade Area At present, there are four multi-lateral free trade areas in Europe, and one former free trade area in recent history. Note that there are also a number of bilateral free trade agreements between states and between trade blocks; and that some s ...
(EFTA). The committee conducts discussions with the government regarding directives from the European Union. The
Election Committee The Election Committee is a Hong Kong electoral college, the function of which is to select the Chief Executive (CE) and, since 2021, to elect 40 of the 90 members of the Legislative Council. Established by Annex I of the Basic Law of Hon ...
consists of 37 members, and is responsible for internal elections within the parliament, as well as delegating and negotiating party and representative allocation within the presidium, standing committees, and other committees. The Preparatory Credentials Committee has 16 members and is responsible for approving the election.

Appointed agencies

Five public agencies are appointed by parliament rather than by the government. The Office of the Auditor General is the
auditor An auditor is a person or a firm appointed by a company to execute an audit.Practical Auditing, Kul Narsingh Shrestha, 2012, Nabin Prakashan, Nepal To act as an auditor, a person should be certified by the regulatory authority of accounting and ...
of all branches of the public administration and is responsible for auditing, monitoring and advising all state economic activities. The
Parliamentary Ombudsman Parliamentary Ombudsman ( fi, Eduskunnan oikeusasiamies, sv, Riksdagens ombudsman, is, Umboðsmaður Alþingis, da, Folketingets Ombudsmand, no, Sivilombudet) is the name of the principal ombudsman institutions in Finland, Iceland, Denmark, ...
is an ombudsman responsible for public administration. It can investigate any public matter that has not been processed by an elected body, the courts, or within the military. The Ombudsman for the Armed Forces is an ombudsman responsible for the military. The Ombudsman for Civilian National Servicemen is responsible for people serving civilian national service. The Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee is a seven-member body responsible for supervising public intelligence, surveillance, and security services. Parliament also appoints the five members of the
Norwegian Nobel Committee The Norwegian Nobel Committee ( no, Den norske Nobelkomité) selects the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize each year on behalf of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel's estate, based on instructions of Nobel's will. Five members are appointed b ...
that award the Nobel Peace Prize.


Parliament has an administration of about 450 people, led by Director of the Storting Marianne Andreassen, who assumed office in 2018. She also acts as secretary for the presidium.

Party groups

Each party represented in parliament has a party group. It is led by a board and chaired by a parliamentary leader. It is customary for the party leader to also act as parliamentary leader, but since party leaders of government parties normally sit as ministers, governing parties elect other representatives as their parliamentary leaders. The table reflects the results of the September 2017 election.


Members to Stortinget are elected based on
party-list proportional representation Party-list proportional representation (list-PR) is a subset of proportional representation electoral systems in which multiple candidates are elected (e.g., elections to parliament) through their position on an electoral list. They can also be u ...
in plural member constituencies. This means that representatives from different political parties are elected from each constituency. The constituencies are identical to the 19 former
counties of Norway Norway is divided into 11  administrative regions, called counties (singular no, fylke, plural nb, fylker; nn, fylke from Old Norse: ''fylki'' from the word "folk", sme, fylka, sma, fylhke, smj, fylkka, fkv, fylkki) which until 19 ...
. Although county mergers have brought the number of counties down to 11, the 10 constituencies are unchanged. The electorate does not vote for individuals but rather for party lists, with a ranked list of candidates nominated by the party. This means that the person on top of the list will get the seat unless the voter alters the ballot. Parties may nominate candidates from outside their own constituency, and even Norwegian citizens currently living abroad. The Sainte-Laguë method is used for allocating parliamentary seats to parties. As a result, the percentage of representatives is roughly equal to the nationwide percentage of votes. Still, a party with a high number of votes in only one constituency can win a seat there even if the nationwide percentage is low. This has happened several times in Norwegian history. Conversely, if a party's initial representation in Stortinget is proportionally less than its share of votes, the party may seat more representatives through
leveling seat Leveling seats ( da, tillægsmandat, sv, utjämningsmandat, no, utjevningsmandater, is, jöfnunarsæti, german: Ausgleichsmandat), commonly known also as adjustment seats, are an election mechanism employed for many years by all Nordic countrie ...
s, provided that the nationwide percentage is above the election threshold, currently at 4%. In 2009, nineteen seats were allocated via the leveling system. Elections are held each four years (in odd-numbered years occurring after a year evenly divisible by four), normally on the second Monday of September. Unlike most other parliaments, the Storting always serves its full four-year term; the Constitution does not allow
snap election A snap election is an election that is called earlier than the one that has been scheduled. Generally, a snap election in a parliamentary system (the dissolution of parliament) is called to capitalize on an unusual electoral opportunity or t ...
s. Substitutes for each deputy are elected at the same time as each election, so by-elections are rare. Norway switched its parliamentary elections from single-member districts decided by two-round run-offs to multi-member districts with proportional representation in 1919.


The parliament has 169 members. If a member of parliament cannot serve (for instance because he or she is a member of the cabinet), a deputy representative serves instead. The deputy is the candidate from the same party who was listed on the ballot immediately behind the candidates who were elected in the last election. In the plenary chamber, the seats are laid out in a
hemicycle In legislatures, a hemicycle is a semicircular, or horseshoe-shaped, debating chamber (''plenary chamber''), where deputies (members) sit to discuss and pass legislation. Although originally of Ancient Greek roots, the term and modern design ...
. Seats for cabinet members in attendance are provided on the first row, behind them the members of parliament are seated according to county, not party group. Viewed from the president's chair, Aust-Agder's representatives are seated near the front, furthest to the left, while the last members (Østfold) are seated furthest to the right and at the back.


* List of members of the Parliament of Norway, 1981–1985 * List of members of the Parliament of Norway, 1985–1989 * List of members of the Parliament of Norway, 1989–1993 * List of members of the Parliament of Norway, 1993–1997 * List of members of the Parliament of Norway, 1997–2001 * List of members of the Parliament of Norway, 2001–2005 * List of members of the Parliament of Norway, 2005–2009 * List of members of the Parliament of Norway, 2009–2013 * List of members of the Parliament of Norway, 2013–2017 * List of members of the Parliament of Norway, 2017–2021 * List of members of the Parliament of Norway, 2021–2025

Code of conduct

Unparliamentary language includes:
one-night stand A one-night stand or one-night sex is a single sexual encounter in which there is an expectation that there shall be no further relations between the sexual participants. It draws its name from the common practice of a one-night stand, a single ...
smoke screen A smoke screen is smoke released to mask the movement or location of military units such as infantry, tanks, aircraft, or ships. Smoke screens are commonly deployed either by a wikt:canister, canister (such as a Smoke grenade, grenade) or gen ...
government, pure nonsense, Molbo politics, may God forbid, lie, and "''som fanden leser Bibelen''".


Since 5 March 1866, parliament has met in the Parliament of Norway Building at Karl Johans gate 22 in Oslo. The building was designed by the Swedish architect Emil Victor Langlet and is built in yellow brick with details and basement in light gray granite. It is a combination of several styles, including inspirations from France and Italy. Parliament do also include offices and meeting rooms in the nearby buildings, since the Parliament building is too small to hold all the current staff of the legislature. The buildings in Akersgata 18, Prinsens Gate 26, Akersgata 21, Tollbugata 31 and Nedre Vollgate 18 also contains parliamentary staff and members of Parliament.

See also

* List of presidents of the Storting


External links

* * (in English)
Ekspert om opplysningsplikten: Slik er reglene for hva statsråder må fortelle i Stortinget
xpert about ''opplysningsplikten'' (or obligation to disclose): Such are the rules for ministers, in regard to what (they) must tell Stortinget(20 November 2020)
Dagsavisen ''Dagsavisen'' is a daily newspaper published in Oslo, Norway. The former party organ of the Norwegian Labour Party, the ties loosened over time from 1975 to 1999. It has borne several names, and was called ''Arbeiderbladet'' from 1923 to 1997. ...
{{Coord, 59, 54, 47, N, 10, 44, 24, E, type:landmark, display=title 1814 establishments in Norway Organizations established in 1814 Norway Norway Norway