Outgoing President Finishes On Top - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Outgoing President Finishes On Top

Published August 3, 2016

Now-former President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson leaves his 20 years in office with very high approval ratings, a new poll shows.

As President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson officially took office last Monday, Ólafur made his exit. A new poll from Market and Media Research shows he leaves the office with most Icelanders satisfied with his performance.

According to the poll findings, 62.4% said they have been happy with the job Ólafur did as President, while 15% were unhappy. 22.6% were decidedly ambivalent.

There were no significant differences amongst demographics such as age, income level, gender and location, but party affiliation did show striking differences. Voters for the Progressive Party were overwhelmingly more approving of Ólafur than voters for any other party, with a total of 88% of these voters either very happy or satisfied with him. The next highest approval level was from Independence Party voters, of whom 81% approved of his performance.

Many had speculated last spring that five terms – 20 years in office – should be enough for Ólafur, but last April he announced his intention to run again. The announcement was met with a mixed response and, shortly after Morgunblaðið co-editor and long-time political rival Davíð Oddsson announced he was running, Ólafur promptly dropped out.

Ólafur still remains the longest-serving president in Icelandic history.

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