Lars Lagerbäck, coach of the Icelandic men’s national football team, is a popular man in Iceland. Before Saturday’s presidential election, some had said the election was not needed, since Lars was already king, after he managed to bring his team to the EURO2016 in France. The team has made it to the final round of 16 and faces England tonight at 7 pm Icelandic time.
Still, some of those who had called Lars king were clearly ready to settle for the title president. Vísir reports that of the 1,049 invalid ballots, more than 20 had Lars’ name written in as the voters’ choice for president. He received votes from all voter districts but one. Heimir Hallgrímsson, who also coaches the men’s national football team, received several votes from the South Iceland district. That comes as no surprise, since he is from Vestmannaeyjar.
More surprisingly, Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark, received at least two votes, one of them from a voter who did not consider the establishment of the Republic of Iceland as legal.
For a vote to be valid, an x, a checkmark or a circle must be placed in front of a candidate’s name. Any other sign invalidates a ballot. In all voter districts, there were many voters who placed a heart, a smiley face or a flower in front of their favorite candidate’s name. Clearly, a voter booth is not a place to express too many feelings, let alone artistic talent.
Some poets reportedly wrote rhymes on their ballot, but the quality of those was not sufficient for them to be published by Vísir.
Despite competition from King Lars and Queen Margarethe, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson won the election with 39.1 percent of the vote.