New Icelandic Political Party on a Roll

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New Icelandic Political Party on a Roll

The recently-established political party Björt framtíð (BF; ‘Bright Future’) has increased its following significantly, by 4 percent, according to the latest Capacent Gallup survey. Support rating for the party now stands at 12.3 percent, which would result in nine seats in parliament.

althingi-parliament_ipa
From the Icelandic parliament. Photo copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.

In December, Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr announced that he would be running for BF, for the fifth seat in the Reykjavík North Constituency.

The ruling parties, the Social Democrats and Left-Greens, appear to be losing votes to BF. Support for the Social Democrats has dropped by 3 percent since the last survey, now at 19.1 percent, and for the Left-Greens by 2 percent to 9.1 percent, ruv.is reports.

This is the lowest support rating for the Left-Greens since September 2003. Political scientist Stefanía Óskarsdóttir told visir.is that the loss in support is not surprising, reasoning that it reflects the unpopularity of the government to a certain extent.

“But history also tells its story. Historically, the party’s rating was always like this,” Stefanía stated, pointing out that when the Left-Greens first ran in 1999 and for the second time in 2003, the party received around 10 percent of votes.

In 2007, the rating jumped to 15 percent and 22 percent in 2009. “It can be explained by the circumstances at that time; there were few indications that they could hold on to that rating. I’d say ten percent is their core support.”

What Stefanía finds most interesting about the survey is the position of BF, which is currently the country’s fourth biggest party. “They are enjoying good support for now but it is unclear how matters will develop.”

There are no fluctuations in support for the other parties. The Independence Party remains the most popular with 36.3 percent of respondents intending to vote it, while 13.1 percent lean towards the Progressive Party.

The other new parties, Dögun (‘Dawn’), Right-Greens, Píratapartíið (‘The Pirate Party’) and Samstaða (‘Solidarity’), have a support rating of below the 5 percent necessary to earn seats in parliament.

Almost 13 percent of respondents refused to reveal for whom they would vote or were undecided and 10 percent said they would either leave the ballot empty or not go to the polls if the general election were taking place now.

Click here to read more about political developments in Iceland.

ESA