From Iceland — Poll: Most Icelanders Still Want A New Constitution

Poll: Most Icelanders Still Want A New Constitution

Published July 13, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

According to a new poll from Gallup, the majority of Icelanders want a new constitution, whether the one drafted by the Constitutional Council about a decade ago, or changes of some other form, RÚV reports. Only 13% said they want Iceland’s constitution to remain unchanged.

According to the results, 53% support changing Iceland’s constitution in keeping with the Council’s draft; 18% said they want changes to the constitution, but not the changes in the draft; 13% said they want Iceland’s constitution to remain unchanged; 16% chose none of the above and about 22% would not take a position.

As to be expected, there were stark contrasts in levels of support for changing the constitution based on political party affiliation.

Supporters of the Pirate Party and the Social Democrats expressed the highest levels of support for a new constitution based on the Council’s draft, with 90% of voters from both parties supporting the idea. Interestingly, these are the two opposition parties with the highest level of support overall. Support was lowest amongst voters for the Progressive Party (34%), the Centre Party (27%), and the Independence Party (18%).

Iceland’s constitution is more or less borrowed from the Danes, and has changed very little since 1874, when the country was then known as the Kingdom of Iceland. The economic crash of 2008 prompted renewed discussion of changing Iceland’s constitution, culminating in elections for the Constitutional Council who drafted a new constitution based on input from Icelandic citizens, which was approved by national referendum in 2012.

Since then, however, no party in any of the ruling coalitions to follow have submitted this draft to Parliament for final approval. Iceland will hold elections for Parliament this autumn.

This poll was conducted from the 18th to the 28th of June. The participation rate was 53.3%, and the sample size was 1,626 individuals 18 years or older from all over the country.

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