From Iceland — Last Polls Before Election Day: Ruling Coalition Facing Challenges

Last Polls Before Election Day: Ruling Coalition Facing Challenges

Published September 24, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Two separate polls now show the ruling coalition—led by the Left-Greens and also comprised of the Independence Party and the Progressive Party—losing their majority in Iceland’s 63-seat Parliament, but only just barely. Smaller parties, spanning the left and right, polling high enough to win seats show that forming a coalition government after the elections may prove incredibly difficult.

The two polls in question, one from Maskína conducted from September 15 through September 22, and the other from Market and Media Research (MMR), conducted on September 15 through September 17 and again on September 21 through September 23, showed the ruling coalition winning a total of 31 seats in both instances. This puts them exactly one seat short of a clean majority and a mandate to continue to run the government.

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Where other parties are concerned, the latest numbers from these polls show three strong players in the opposition: the Social Democrats, the Pirate Party and the Reform Party. Maskína has these parties winning seven seats each, while MMR has them at eight, six and seven seats, respectively.

As has been the case through campaign season, the Centre Party and the People’s Party continue to struggle to stay in the running. Maskína has these parties winning just four and three seats, respectively, while MMR tracks them at three and four seats respectively. The Socialist Party, which does not as yet have a seat in Parliament, are polling high enough according to both polls to win four seats.

This being the case, forming a ruling coalition of even three parties will prove to be a challenge, at best. A four-party coalition may be possible, provided the current ruling coalition can convince at least one other party to join them—the Social Democrats and the Pirates have both gone on record saying they will refuse any partnership with a government that includes the Independence Party. In order for any government to exclude the Independence Party, it will require at least five parties to join in.

For more on who these parties are, what they stand for, and how to vote, check out our handy election guide. The Grapevine will be livetweeting the election starting tomorrow at 19:00 Icelandic time.

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