From Iceland — Many Intend to Submit Blank Ballots

Many Intend to Submit Blank Ballots

Published April 22, 2009

A Capacent poll shows significantly greater dissatisfaction with the candidates running than in the previous elections.
According to the poll, 8.4% of those surveyed intend to submit blank ballots – a show of no confidence – in the elections this Saturday. Broken down by party affiliation, over 10% of those who voted for the Conservatives in 2007 said they will submit blank votes, 5.9% of Progressives, 2.5% of Social Democrats and 0.8% of Leftist-Greens.
Ólafur Þ. Harðarson, a professor of political science at the University of Iceland, told Morgunblaðið that the average percentage was unusually high; that typically, around 2% of votes submitted are blank ballots.
What is interesting to notice in the trend by party affiliation is that a lack of confidence in any political party is highest among those who voted in 2007 for the then-existing government coalition of the Conservatives and Progressives.
This might be explained by increasing reports of financial influence of politicians by bankers and businessmen that, if not illegal, has sullied the image of certain parties – in particular, the Conservatives, who had accepted a 30 million ISK gift from investment firm FL Group in 2006. It has also come to light from the news station Stöð 2 that some individual politicians had accepted financial gifts from FL Group and media giant Baugur Group. In fact, the only two parties who have apparently not accepted financial gifts were the Liberals and the Leftist-Greens.

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