From Iceland — Clearer Picture Of Possible Reykjavík City Council Majority Forming

Clearer Picture Of Possible Reykjavík City Council Majority Forming

Published May 18, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Following last Sunday’s elections results for Reykjavík City Council, a clearer picture is beginning to form regarding what the next majority may be. Who the mayor might be, however, is still very much an open question.

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By law, the new city council majority must begin its official business by June 6th. As reported, the out-going majority–led by the Social Democrats with the Pirate Party, the Reform Party and the Left-Greens–did not secure enough votes to hold onto a majority of seats on Reykjavík’s 23-seat city council. The Progressive Party, by contrast, enjoyed considerable success, going from zero seats last term to winning four this time around.

On the left

The Left-Greens, despite hanging onto their single seat, have recused themselves from being in the next city council majority. However, the Social Democrats, the Pirates and the Reform Party have agreed to stick together for the next majority.

This still puts them three seats short of majority. This would then mean joining up with the Independence Party, the Progressive Party, or the Socialist Party and the People’s Party. However, the Pirate Party has ruled out entering any partnership with the Independence Party, and the Socialists have ruled out entering any partnership with the Reform Party.

As such, a coalition of the Social Democrats, Pirates, Reform Party and the Progressive Party would likely be the path of least resistance. Dóra Björt Guðjónsdóttir, who leads the Pirates in Reykjavík, pointed out that Einar Þorsteinsson, who leads the Progressive Party list for Reykjavík, has expressed support for the bus rapid transit system Borgarlínan, which is a key project of the outgoing majority.

On the right

That said, it is not necessarily for the three former majority parties to decide–Einar Þorsteinsson, who leads the Progressive Party list for Reykjavík, has said that he is speaking with everyone. They could very well choose to side with the Independence Party, and then bring the Reform Party and the People’s Party into the fold to form a new majority. Þór­dís Lóa Þór­halls­dótt­ir, who leads the Reform Party in Reykjavík, has said that she does not rule out working with the Independence Party and the Progressives.

The new mayor

Even if the former majority parties manage to stay in power, it is not a given that Dagur B. Eggertsson of the Social Democrats will continue to be mayor. Einar could very well be the next mayor or, as former Left-Green councilperson Sóley Tómasdóttir pointed out, it could just as well be Dóra.

As talks between all of these parties are still ongoing, it may be days or longer before a new coalition is announced, but the decision of three of the previous majority parties to hold together–as well as some parties ruling out working with others–is at least narrowing down the possible paths to our next city council majority.

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