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Three polls which came out on Thursday, Friday and Saturday both show the Left Green Movement with a strong lead in the lead up to the October 28 elections. The Left Greens have replaced the conservative Independence Party as the largest political party in Iceland, a position the party has enjoyed virtually uninterrupted since establishment of the republic in 1944.
All four polls show a large shift to the left, following the collapse of the Conservative led coalition amidst scandal Pardon gate scandal as the Left Greens received 15.9% of the vote in the 2016 elections.
The first poll, a MMR poll released on Thursday September 28 shows the Left Greens enjoy the support of 24.7% of voters, while 23.5% express support for the Independence Party. The second, a University of Iceland poll, released on Friday shows the Left Greens with 28.8%, while the Independence party polls at 24.3%. Finally, a Gallup poll released on September 30 also shows the Left Greens as the largest party, with 25.4% and the Independence party 23.1%
These three latest polls confirm the results of the first poll taken after the collapse of the conservative led coalition government in the „Pardon-gate“ scandal. This poll, a Morgunblaðið poll, taken on September 25, showed the Left Greens with an even larger majority. 30% of respondents in this poll said they would vote for the Left Greens, and 23% for the Independence party.
Two new right-wing populist parties
The other major news to emerge from the latest crop of polls is that the two small center-right parties of the conservative led coalition government, the centrist Bright Future and the center-right Restoration, might not be able to break the 5% threshold to receive seats in parliament. All three polls show the two parties below 5%.
While the two small centrist parties might fail to secure seats in parliament, two new political parties seem more secure. Both of these parties have a very strong right-wing populist character.
The newly established „Center Party“ founded by the former Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson who resigned in 2016, amidst the fallout from the Panama Papers, enjoys the support of 7.3% of voters. However the University of Iceland poll shows the Center Party failing to break the 5% threshold.
Sigmundur Davíð left his old party, the center-right Progress Party to form the new political party, taking many of former Progress Party heavyweights with him. As chairman of the Progress Party he took the party in the direction of economic populism and a greater emphasis on nationalism.
A second new party, the right-wing populist People‘s Party is doing far better in the three polls. The University of Iceland poll shows it at 6.5%, MMR at 8.5% and Gallup at 10.1%.
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