The results of the latest poll on the subject show incumbent president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and new candidate Þóra Arnórsdóttir with almost totally equally levels of support.
The poll, conducted by Fréttablaðið, shows Ólafur with the support of 46% of respondents, while Þóra received the support of 46.5%. None of the other candidates running come close to approaching either of them.
Ólafur has been president since 1996, and has run unopposed twice since then – in 2000 and 2008. Þóra, by contrast, is a former broadcast journalist from RÚV and has never held a political office. However, since announcing her candidacy last week, a groundswell of support has risen up for her.
Demographically, Þóra has more support from women than men. People living in the countryside showed stronger levels of support for Ólafur, while capital area residence were more likely to support Þóra.
Grétar Þór Eysteinsson, a professor of political science at the University of Akureyri, predicts that this will mean “an electrifying election season.” Although the two are at almost even levels of support, the same figures that mean quite a boost for Þóra should be cause for worry to Ólafur, he said.