A bad election cost SV not only influence in local government and counties. The fact that only 4.3 percent of voters supported the party in elections now also shows up in the party’s bank account.
In addition to rebuilding the party, SV must now fight to avoid layoffs in the county jobs they have retained. Preliminary figures show that the election results have cost the party about 2.4 million NOK in lost support from state and county.
Party Secretary Silje Schei Tveitdal says the party will now “turn over every stone” to retain the 15 people who work for the party at the county level. Most of the cost goes to cover salaries.
In comparison, the party used a total of four million NOK on the campaign trail (700,000 USD).
Now the party secretary asks ordinary SV party members to contribute fresh capital.
“We try to avoid redundancies, and have now launched a fundraiser in which members are asked to participate.”
When asked if the new fundraiser will include selling waffles, Schei Tveitdal replies, “No, it will be preferably by private bank transfer. But they can fry waffles, too! It is important to encourage the volunteer spirit.”
The county workers will be hardest hit this time, while the party’s central organization had to make sharp cuts after SV made little progress in the election.
With a little over four percent support, the party is at risk of ending up below the threshold of parliamentary elections in 2013. The party must rise up, and therefore it makes things worse that several people in the party are at risk of losing their jobs, says the party secretary.
“Rebuilding the party organization will be an important part of the strategy to ensure that SV has a better election in 2013,” says Schei Tveitdal.
All parties receive support from county and state based on attendance. In addition, donations come from private organizations.
The SV also has a tradition of party taxes. This means that SV members in parliament and the government will pay eight percent of their salary to the party bank account.
“And if there are any rich socialists out there who want to contribute?”
“It is just a matter of signing up,” says Schei Tveitdal.