Support for the Oslo 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic bid has hit an all time low, according to two new independent public opinion polls.
A survey conducted by Norwegian newspaper Bergens Tidende revealed that just 26 per cent of those asked are in favour of hosting the Games and a VG poll showed that 30 per cent would welcome the event, which is expected to cost at least NOK35 billion (£3 billion/$6 billion/€4 billion).
VG also reported that 56 per cent of the 1,020 people asked actively opposed hosting the Games, while the remaining 14 per cent were undecided.
The figures show a dramatic decline in public support for the bid, which has yet to receive full backing from the Norwegian Government, with a similar poll commissioned by VG a year ago indicating that 45 per cent favoured bringing the Olympics back to Norway for the first time since Lillehammer 1994 and Oslo for the first time since 1952.
Oslo 2022 has, however, commissioned two polls itself this month that show greater support for the Games, it claims.
One revealed that 32 per cent of respondents were in favour of hosting the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, while another said as much as 34.5 per cent support them.
The figures for those opposed stood at 48 per cent and 52 per cent.
"We see there is a difference, support in the VG poll is somewhat lower for the yes-side," Oslo 2022 chief executive Eli Grimsby told VG.
She also exclusively told insidethegames last month that she is "very optimistic" that the bid will receive Government support - a final decision about which is expected to be announced in October or November.
Norway's Culture Minister Thorhild Widvey, from the Conservatives, continues to promote the project but the Conservative Progress Party, which controls the Finance Ministry, has consistently opposed hosting an Olympics, claiming the money would be much better spent on nursing homes, roads, schools and in other sectors.
Meanwhile, Labour Party politician and Dagsavisen political editor Arne Strand has said that Finance Minister Siv Jensen would have to resign if the Government chooses to provide guarantees for Oslo 2022.
Oslo is currently up against China's capital Beijing and the Kazakhstani city of Almaty in the bid race for the 2022 Games.
The International Olympic Committee is due to elect the host city on July 31 next year during its Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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