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Iceland Elections ’17 Liveblog: The Fast & The Furiouser

Iceland Elections ’17 Liveblog: The Fast & The Furiouser

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published October 28, 2017

Welcome to the Reykjavík Grapevine 2017 Elections Liveblog! Here you will find the latest numbers as they roll in, along with general observations, analysis, and other newsworthy bits. You can also follow us on Twitter, where we will be using the #GVelections17 hashtag. Relish in the joy and despair of the democratic process with us!

For handy reference, here’s the key we’ll be using for the different parties in the running, listed in alphabetical order by official symbol:

XA = Bright Future
XB = Progressive Party
XC = Reform Party
XD = Independence Party
XF = Peoples’ Party
XM = Centre Party
XP = Pirate Party
XR = The People’s Front Of Iceland
XS = Social Democrats
XT = Dawn
XV = Left-Greens

Sunday morning: The results are in.

04:24 Halfway there. 124,651 ballots counted of 248,502, and the Independence Party lost another seat; down 5 to 16, while the Progressives pick up one, breaking even at 8. The Peoples’ Party is back down to 4 seats, and the Centre Party bumps up to 7 seats. In other words a lot of lateral movement between these four, but no significant changes elsewhere. This trend may continue for the remaining half.

XA: 0 seats, down 4, 1.07%
XB: 8 seats, breaking even, 11.07%
XC: 4 seats, down 3, 6.49%
XD: 16 seats, down 5, 25.32%
XF: 4 seats, a new party in, 7.36%
XM: 7 seats, another new party in, 10.51%
XP: 5 seats, down 5, 8.79%
XR: 0 seats, 0.15%
XS: 8 seats, up 5, 12.44%
XT: 0 seats, 0.04%
XV: 11 seats, up 1, 16.75%

03:37 Ballot count now at 114,580. We’re closing in on the halfway mark, and the seats haven’t changed.

02:29 100,856 ballots of 248,502 counted.

XA: 0 seats, down 4, 1.07%
XB: 7 seats, down 1, 10.66%
XC: 4 seats, down 3, 6.4%
XD: 18 seats, down 3, 25.47%
XF: 5 seats, a new party in, 7.53%
XM: 6 seats, another new party in, 10.16%
XP: 5 seats, down 5, 8.75%
XR: 0 seats, 0.14%
XS: 8 seats, up 5, 12.84%
XT: 0 seats, 0.04%
XV: 11 seats, up 1, 16.93%

The People’s Party and the Centre Party are very good spirits. They might even end up playing a part in supporting a minority government, depending which way the coalition goes. A left-led coalition would be unlikely to want to involve former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð, but the People’s Party’s positions on improving conditions for the elderly and the disabled could be compatible. The only three-party coalition possible is the Independence Party, the Left-Greens and the Social Democrats.

Undoubtedly contentious coalition talks will follow. And even if the three-party talks happen, who would lead it? It’s on the President to make that choice, as he did last year. There’s no hard and fast rule on this, but the largest party often gets slated for the mandate.

But if these three very different parties can’t form a common platform, then a minority government becomes a real possibility. We could be looking at five-party coalitions.

01:46 98,856 ballots of 248,502 counted, and the People’s Party picked up another seat, but the Centre Party lost one. There’s movement on the right between parties, but the left is standing still.

01:13 75,061 ballots of of 248,502 counted, and we’re seeing the Pirate Party cleaving in two; and while the Independence Party and the Progressives have taken a hit, two new parties have taken 11 seats. And we lost Bright Future. There isn’t a configuration within the left or the right that could be comprised of a 3-party coalition. A minority government appears to be a very strong possibility.

The Left-Greens, who had been polling at or near the top began to dip sharply a few days before the election, similar to the sudden pre-election upswing the Pirates experienced last year. The Social Democrats have done well for themselves, though.

Any sort of 3-party configuration would have to include the Independence Party and the Left-Greens. The Social Democrats could help bridge their two very dissimilar platforms, but would the President give the mandate to the Independence Party? Well, we have another

00:58 69,441 ballots counted of 248,502 cast. The Independence Party loses another seat, Progressives gain one, all else unchanged from last numbers.

XA: 0 seats, down 4, 1.07%
XB: 7 seats, down 1, 10.31%
XC: 4 seats, down 3, 6.57%
XD: 18 seats, down 4, 26.06%
XF: 4 seats, a new party in, 6.87%
XM: 7 seats, another new party in, 10.9%
XP: 5 seats, down 5, 8.67%
XR: 0 seats, 0.15%
XS: 8 seats, up 5, 12.56%
XT: 0 seats, 0.04%
XV: 11 seats, up 1, 16.81%

00:15 62,842 ballots of 248,502 ballots cast, not much changes, though XV takes a small dip – no 3 party options on the table:

XA: 0 seats, down 4, 1.07%
XB: 6 seats, down 2, 10.03%
XC: 4 seats, down 3, 6.56%
XD: 18 seats, down 3, 26.28%
XF: 4 seats, a new party in, 6.83%
XM: 7 seats, another new party in, 10.9%
XP: 5 seats, down 5, 8.69%
XR: 0 seats, 0.15%
XS: 8 seats, up 5, 12.7%
XT: 0 seats, 0.04%
XV: 11 seats, up 1, 16.73%

23:59 Thanks to two new parties, we have no real possibilities for a 3-party government, let alone a 2-party one. We may have ourselves a minority government. Then again, these are just first numbers; anything could happen, but so far the results are reflecting polls.

23:19 First numbers for the whole country, 36,262 ballots counted of 248,502 ballots cast:

XA: 0 seats, down 4, 1.03%
XB: 6 seats, down 2, 10.09%
XC: 4 seats, down 3, 6.45%
XD: 18 seats, down 3, 26.2%
XF: 4 seats, a new party in
XM: 7 seats, another new party in
XP: 5 seats, down 5, 8.5%
XR: 0 seats, 0.15%
XS: 8 seats, up 5, 12.68%
XT: 0 seats, 0.04%
XV: 11 seats, up 1, 17.03%

23:10 In the northeast, according to first numbers there, the Left-Greens show the strongest showing, at 20%. The Progressives lose half their support to Sigmundur Davíð’s Centre Party, and may be back in. The Independence Party is also in. The Reform Party is out, but the Social Democrats have been doing well.

22:52 First numbers are in for the South Iceland district:

XA: 0.8%
XB: 18.3%
XC: 2.8%
XD: 25.2%
XF: 10.2%
XM: 13.8%
XP: 7.1%
XS: 9.9%
XV: 11.7%

22:35 So based on numbers taken in the evening, voter participation went up in the capital area, the Southwest, and the South Iceland districts, but went down elsewhere in the countryside. The Progressives and the Independence Party enjoy high levels of support in the rural districts, which may be reflected in the results.

Still, voter participation was 66.33% in Reykjavík, but barely up from previous elections; by less than 1%. Have to admit that comes as a bit of a surprise.

22:16 Polls closed at 22:00. Voter participation in Reykjavík was higher than in the previous two elections, and there was also an increase in early votes. Good weather, extensive international coverage, and scandal all played contributing factors in more Icelanders taking to the polls. The first numbers will be following soon.


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