From Iceland — Polls: No Majority Possible Without The Independence Party

Polls: No Majority Possible Without The Independence Party

Published November 3, 2020

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Current Gallup polling of Iceland’s viable political parties shows that, if elections were held today, a ruling coalition of one or two parties would not be possible, and a three-party majority would be unachievable without including the Independence Party, RÚV reports.

Over 10,000 people were contacted for participation in this poll, conducted from September 30th through November 1st, with 54% participating. Of those who responded to who they would vote for if elections were held today, the results were as follows, compared to the 2017 election results:

Independence Party: 23.5% (25.3% in 2017)
Social Democrats: 15.8% (12.1%)
Pirate Party: 12.1% (9.2%)
Left-Greens: 16.9% (11.9%)
Reform Party: 11.6% (6.7%)
Centre Party: 9.9% (10.9%)
Progressive Party: 7.7% (10.7%)
People’s Party: 4.5% (6.9%)
Socialist Party: 2.7% (Did not run in 2017)

There are 63 seats in Iceland’s Parliament. When these percentages are broken down into numbers of seats, the following results arise. Note that these results reflect MPs directly elected from Iceland’s voting districts, who are 54 in number—the additional nine “jöfnunarþingmenn”, or equiliser MPs, are not factored in:

Independence Party: 16 seats
Social Democrats: 10
Pirate Party: 7
Left-Greens: 6
Reform Party: 6
Centre Party: 6
Progressive Party: 3
People’s Party: 0
Socialist Party: 0

As such, the current ruling coalition of the Left-Greens, Independence Party and Progressive Party would in all have 25 seats; not enough to secure a majority. No single party would have a clean majority, nor would a two-party majority be possible. Any sort of three-party majority configuration would have to include the Independence Party.

Excluding the Independence Party altogether would require a coalition of either all six parties who won seats and are not the Independence Party, or a five-party coalition of the Social Democrats, Pirates, Left-Greens, Reform Party and Centre Party.

The Independence Party being required for a ruling coalition is usually the norm in Iceland, and has been for decades, with one notable exception. The last time in recent history that the party was excluded from the coalition was from 2009 to 2013, in the wake of the financial collapse, when the ruling coalition was comprised of the Social Democrats and the Left-Greens.

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