From Iceland — Government With Thin Support, Many Voters Unhappy

Government With Thin Support, Many Voters Unhappy

Published September 28, 2010

According to a poll conducted by Fréttablaðið, the Social Democrat/Leftist-Green coalition barely has the support of half of those who said they intended to vote, despite a significant upswing of support for the latter party. Also, nearly half of those polled showed no support for any party.
Of those newspaper Fréttablaðið contacted for the poll, 48.8% said they either intended to submit a blank ballot, were uncertain how they intended to vote, or intended to skip voting altogether. Among those who did indicate support for a party, there were some surprises.
For one, The Movement has seen a surge of support, from 0.3% last March to 5.6% today. This takes them from being voted out of parliament altogether to winning three seats, if elections were held today.
Support for the Leftist-Greens saw a similar upswing, from 20.6% to 25.6% over the same period, taking them from 15 MPs to 17. However, their coalition partner – the Social Democrats – have seen a dip in support, from having 20 MPs now to having 15 if elections were held today. This would give the ruling coalition 32 seats of 63; a very thin majority.
While the Independence Party saw a modest drop in support, they remain the largest party in the country, with 35.6% of respondents saying they intend to vote for them. This would take them from 16 MPs to 24.
The Progressive Party, by contrast, has seen their support nearly slashed in half, dropping from 13.3% to 7.3%. This would take them down from nine seats to four.
Ólafur Þ. Harðarson, a professor of political science at the University of Iceland, told Fréttablaðið “this low percentage [of people supporting any political party] shows that there is still great voter dissatisfaction with the traditional parties, and that it could even lead the way for other non-traditional parties, such as The Best Party.”

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