An increasing number of Icelanders support alcohol being sold in private shops, but they are still in the minority, a new Gallup poll shows.
RÚV reports that according to the Gallup poll results, 47% of respondents are against the sale of alcohol in private shops, while 41% support the idea. 12% had no position on the matter.
In October 2014, about two-thirds of respondents to a Vísir/Fréttablaðið poll said they were against alcohol being sold in stores, while about a third supported the idea.
In terms of demographics in the latest Gallup poll, those under 40 and those in upper class income brackets showed the most support for the idea. Amongst voters for different political parties, Independence Party voters showed the highest support for alcohol in private shops, or about 59%.
That level of support could be due to the fact that Vilhjálmur Árnason, an MP for the Independence Party, has been trying repeatedly to legalise the private wholesale sale of alcohol. He has submitted a bill to that effect in the past, with his last attempt blocked by the Welfare Committee majority.
Currently, the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ÁTVR) controls all sales of alcohol. By law, it may only be sold wholesale in state-run alcohol shops. The “beer” offered for sale in grocery stores is actually very light beer, with an alcohol content of about 2%.