A new poll from Market and Media Research asked Icelanders how far they believe the national men’s team will get in the World Cup. Their answers show a cautious, and realistic, optimism. There were also significant differences of opinion across income levels, education levels, and even political parties.
The poll was conducted from June 12 to June 18; bearing in mind that the Argentina-Iceland match was held on June 16.
Of those who responded, 41% said they believe Iceland will not make it out of the group. Another 41% believe Iceland will make it into the round of 16. From here, optimism is heavily tempered by realism, but there were interesting variables by demographics.
Overall, only 11% of Icelanders believe the team will make it into the round of 8; 3% predict reaching the semi-finals; 2% see them reaching the finals; and 2% believe Iceland will win the World Cup.
Icelandic women were more optimistic than men for every stage of the competition except winning the World Cup itself (3% of men versus 1% of women). Well-educated, high-income Icelanders in positions of management were more pessimistic than working class and unemployed Icelanders with basic education.
By political party, the more populist parties — the Centre Party and the People’s Party — were more optimistic than anyone else. In fact, People’s Party voters were the most likely to say Iceland will win the World Cup, at 7%, although inexplicably, none of them believe Iceland will make it to the finals.
Bearing in mind the days during which the poll was conducted, much of these results were weighted by pre-game speculations not based on viewing current performance. The results of the next poll on this subject, then, could show wildly different results.