From Iceland — Government Clings to Thin Majority

Government Clings to Thin Majority

Published November 12, 2010

The ruling coalition of the Social Democrats and the Leftist-Greens is holding onto a thin majority of support.
A new poll conducted by Market and Media Research shows that only 50.3% of those polled believe that the current government is the best option available. 49.7% said they wanted other parties in power.
Government support did, however, have a more positive outlook when other options were made available to respondents. 7.5% said they wanted to see additional parties join the existing government, but only 16% said they wanted to see another party in power.
33.7% said they would rather see an “utanþingsstjórn,” a temporary government set up by the head of state until such time as a more permanent government is established. 21.1% said they wanted to see a national government, i.e., a parliament with no ruling coalition or opposition, but all parties sharing power equally.
Both of these latter ideas have gained more prominence in public discussions in Iceland lately. The problem with a national government, it seems, is that not every party in the opposition gets along. Þór Saari, an MP for The Movement, has said that he would only agree to a national government which excluded the conservatives. The Prime Minister has also said that a national government is not on the table.
Public approval with the job the government is doing is on the wane. Protests in front of parliament – numbering from anywhere from 30 to a few hundred people – are an almost weekly occurrence.

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