A day after winning Norway's general election, left-wing parties on Tuesday kicked off thorny talks to form a government replacing the centre-right in power for eight years.
Jonas Gahr Store, who is set to become the next prime minister, is expected to try to build a three-party coalition with his Labour Party, the Centre Party and Socialist Left.
The trio won an absolute majority with 89 of 169 seats in parliament, according to preliminary election results.
Outgoing Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg conceded late Monday that her centre-right coalition had been defeated.
But the path to form a government was not simple for Store.
"In the next few days, I will invite the leaders of all the parties who want a new government to talks," Store said in his victory speech late Monday.
Store, who campaigned against social inequalities, held his first informal consultations Tuesday with the Centre Party and the Socialist Left.
"There are more things that unite us than divide us," Store said afterwards.
He also said he would meet with other members of the current opposition, the Greens, who won three seats, and the communist Red Party, which took eight seats.
The negotiations are expected to go on for weeks and present numerous challenges.
The Centre Party and the Socialist Left are at loggerheads on several issues, including taxes and the oil industry in Norway, western Europe's biggest producer.
The Centre party platform has largely focused on the interests of its rural base, while on the left the Socialists advocate for social justice and environmental protection.
Centre said throughout the election campaign it would not govern together with the Socialist Left, though it has softened its tone in recent days.
"We are going to take part in the talks to which Jonas Gahr Store has invited us, and we'll see what comes out of it," the Centre Party's number two, Marit Arnstad, told public broadcaster NRK.
"But for now, our preferred (coalition) alternative is one with the Centre and Labour," she added.
The head of the Socialist Left said he was disappointed to have the "doors closed" on his party.
"There is no (left-wing) majority without the Socialist Left, and that means that those who want a new government have to talk to us," Audun Lysbakken told reporters.