An MP who recently left the Progressive Party has officially announced that he is starting his own political party, and that it will ally itself with the Best Party.
Guðmundur Steingrímsson – whose father was chairman of the Progressive Party at one point, as was his father before him – decided to leave the party last August, citing differences of opinion about Iceland joining the European Union (he supports it; the party does not) and over differences in “outlook”.
Since then, he has been reticent about forming a party of his own, merely hinting at the idea by making statements such as, “We need a liberal, internationalist, green centrist party in Iceland. As far as I can tell there are plenty of people calling for such a party to be formed, but there’s no rush,” as he told RÚV just a few weeks ago.
Guðmundur has now delivered a twofold announcement: he is forming his own political party, and they will join forces with the Best Party. He has also been in touch with several independent politicians about the possibility of forming an even greater alliance.
If such a coalition holds, it could prove to be the second-largest political party in the country. The results of a poll conducted by Market and Media Research last week showed about 20% of voters saying they would vote for the Best Party in parliamentary elections if they were held today.
If these voters are combined with the number of Progressives who have left their party due to dissatisfaction with the leadership – as was the case with Guðmundur – this voting block gets even bigger.
An official outline of what Guðmundur’s new party will be called and what platform they will present has yet to be announced.