Voters in Iceland have spoken and early results indicate that neither the opposition parties will have sufficient support to form a government, nor the center-right coalition of the Independents and Progressives.
The Independence Party has a strong showing in the election, with early results giving them about 30 percent of the vote (up from 26.7 in 2013), but it’s not the only winner. So is the new Reform Party, established in May, whose support is about 10 percent, according to early results.
Although the Pirate Party does not appear to be getting as much support as polls had indicated, first results suggest it enjoys over 13 percent support, which is considerably more than the 5.1 percent it received in the 2013 election.
The Left-Green Movement is also doing very well with about 16 percent support, according to early results. Bright Future, a party that had done poorly in many polls, still appears to get about 7 percent (compared with 8.2 percent in 2013).
The clear losers in the election are the Progressive Party and the Social Democratic Alliance. The Progressives seem to be heading for between 10 and 11 percent support, down from 24.4 in the 2013 election, while the Social Democrats look like they’ll be just under 7 percent, down from 12.9 in 2013.
Analysts believe the strong showing of the Independents and Left-Greens has much to do with the popularity of their leaders, Bjarni Benediktsson and Katrín Jakobsdóttir.
Bjarni Benediktsson addressed his supporters by saying, “We went into this campaign with the slogan ‘On the right track.’ Now, the ballot boxes have been closed. We are going all the way.”
Katrín Jakobsdóttir told her supporters, “Our agenda has been against an unequal distribution in society. We want to ensure equal opportunity for all.”
Reform Party Founder and Leader Benedikt Jóhannesson was very pleased with the support his party is getting. He addressed his supporters, pointing out , “ It’s our agenda that won us voter support.” He told RÚV, “Both obvious options have been rejected, both the left coalition and the conservative coalition... People need to find out what issues they can agree on [before forming a government].”
Birgitta Jónsdóttir of the Pirate Party appeared happy with the result. She told supporters, “We have created a wave of change… The fact that so many Icelanders trust us is awesome… You are the force of change; we are going to change Iceland.”
Óttarr Proppé, chairman of Bright Future, seemed fairly pleased with the result, especially since early polls showed his party at risk of not getting the minimum support required for parliamentary representation.
Chairman of the Progressive Party was disappointed with the results. “We would have liked to see more. We knew there would be challenges and we faced them without hesitation.”
Oddný Harðardóttir, chair of the Social Democratic Alliance, stated, “The [Social Democratic] Alliance was created around a large and beautiful ideology. It [the ideology] has not left us.”