From Iceland — Low Voter Turn-Out Predicted

Low Voter Turn-Out Predicted

Published September 5, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Party primaries have been so poorly attended that turn-out for parliamentary elections may be decidedly low, a professor at the University of Akureyri says.

With parliamentary elections only weeks away, Iceland’s political parties are in full gear in preparations, holding primaries to set their lists and get campaigning underway. However, Vísir reports that primary voting has hit all new lows.

Attendance for the Independence Party primaries around the country has been about half what it was in 2012, with a record low set in Reykjavík for conservative primary voters. At the same time, only about 35% of registered Pirates took part in that party’s primaries.

“In the preparations for this election, primary attendance has been poor amongst those parties that chose to have primaries,” Professor Grétar Þór Eysteinsson told reporters. “If voting attendance is comparable in other parties, this gives an indication that voter turn-out could be the worst in parliamentary elections.”

Grétar attributes the low turn-out to a declining interest in politics, and a declining trust in politicians, amongst the general public.

Parliamentary elections in Iceland will be held on October 29.

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