Opposition Gains Upper Hand - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Opposition Gains Upper Hand

Published August 29, 2011

The collective support of parliament’s three opposition parties is now greater than the support for the ruling coalition, although support for a new political party is historically high.
The poll, conducted by news aggregate site Eyjan, shows the opposition with the support of 36% of respondents. At the same time, the Social Democrat/Leftist-Green coalition only has the support of a quarter of the country.
When looked at individually, there are some surprising results.
Within the ruling coalition, the Social Democrats take the lion’s share of support (17.08%), with the Leftist-Greens getting less than half that (8.01%). The Leftist-Greens, having 12 seats to the Social Dem’s 20, are then showing a drop in support within the government.
In the opposition, the Independence Party remains unsurprisingly dominant, with 25.68% – the highest percentage of any individual party – while the Progressives, recently beginning to experience a mass exodus from the party, linger at 7.63% and the Movement has 3.19%.
Despite what appears to be a wide lead held by the opposition over the ruling coalition, only 31.76% believe they would do any better at leading the country, while 53.3% said they would not.
Most interestingly, though, was that 18.05% said they intended to vote for another party. This percentage, second only to the Independence Party, opens a wide swath of potential voters for a new political party, and possibly a new ruling coalition, in parliament.
16.21% said they would submit blank ballots, and only 3.96% said they did not intend to vote at all.
The overall picture shows great voter dissatisfaction, yet a strong desire for new players to get in the game. The low percentage of potential non-voters also shows that public action may have a big part to play in the next elections.

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