Election News

The parliamentary elections in Iceland are over and the formation of a coalition government is likely to be a challenge. Eight parties gained seats in Parliament as trust in the old parties deteriorates. Learn all about this latest election in our #ElectionNews

Icelandic Parliamentary Election Results

The Icelandic Parliament is made up of 63 seats, 54 of which are allocated proportionally according to regional voting preferences, provided that the party received over 5% of the national vote. The remaining seats are attached to constituencies and are used to balance the vote/seat distribution.

Party Seats in Parliament Vote Share
Independence 16 29.0 %
Left-Green 11 15.9 %
Progressive 8 11.5 %
Social Democrat 7 12.1 %
Centre 7 10.9 %
Pirates 6 9.2 %
People’s 4 6.9 %
Reform 4 6.7 %
Bright Future 0 1.2 %

Independence Party remains the strongest

The conservative Independence Party is to keep Bjarni Benediktsson despite recent scandals since 2015. The Independence Party received around 30% of all votes, while their former coalition partners, Björt Framtíð (Bright Future) were unable to gain any seats in this election. A reduction in Independent vote share and the collapse of their former coalition partners will mean that they will have to look elsewhere to form the next government.

The party who has won the largest vote share and the most number of seats are granted the right to form a government or coalition government by the President.

A Left-Green-Independent Coalition?

The Left-Green Party were expected to gain a higher vote share than the 15.9% they received. Despite the somewhat disappointing result, Left-Green is likely to be courted by the Independents to form a government. Indeed, while a Left-Green-Independent coalition is possible, the left-wing parties could band together to form a is seen as the most likely partnership the Independent party will seek to create.

Regardless of coalition partners, the Left-Green party will seek to abide by their core tenents: Improved health care, increased investment in education and infrastructures and increased taxes on the rich. This last point is aimed at using the public anger in the wake of recent scandals.

The political divides in Iceland have been highlighted ever since the financial crisis in 2008. Iceland was at the centre of the economic storm. Indeed, Landsbankinn was unable to grant customers access to their savings until they were nationalized by the government. Since then, Iceland has been posting positive economic growth largely due to a resurgent tourism industry. Despite this, many of political divisions remain.

Political Scandals shake-up Iceland

The Independent party in particular, or more precisely Bjarni Benediktsson has been hit hard by political scandals i recent years. In 2015 he was discovered to be a member of Ashley Maddison, the website for extramarital affairs. In 2016 he was connected with the ownership of a shell company as announced in the Panama Papers. Most recently was the cause of the snap election. Coalition partners Bright Future left government after a reported “breach of trust”. It turned out that Bjarni Benediktsson had covered up evidence implicating his father in a scandal previous scandal.