About a third of Icelanders are for allowing the sale of wine in grocery stores, but the majority, or 58 percent, is against it, according to a new poll by Maskína. Opposition to the idea has increased since early February last year, when 35 percent were for the sale and 52 percent against it, RÚV reports.
The first debate of the Liquor Bill continues in Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, today. The bill, which is very controversial, suggests allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages in grocery stores, but those are currently sold exclusively in state-run Vínbúðin liquor stores.
Support for allowing the sale of beer in grocery stores is 33-34 percent, but 56 percent are against it. A year ago, 37-38 percent were for it, about 50 percent against. The vast majority of those polled, or 75 percent, are against the sale of hard liquor in grocery stores.
The older the respondents, the likelier they are to be opposed to the sale of beer in grocery stores, but about 60 percent of those under the age of 25 want beer to be sold in grocery stores, compared with 19 percent of those 55 and over. Opposition is also stronger outside the capital area. About fifty percent of the lowest income earners support the sale of beer, compared with 26-33 percent of the highest earners.
In terms of political affiliation, those who are the strongest opponents of the sale of beer in grocery stores are supporters of the Social Democratic Alliance, and the Left-Green Movement, or 70-75 percent, followed by 60 percent opposition among supporters of the Progressive Party. Between 42 and 46 percent of those who vote for Bright Future, the Pirate Party and the Independence Party support the sale of beer in grocery stores.
The number of respondents was 845, and the poll was conducted February 21-27.