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Politics

New poll shows swing to left continues: Left Greens now largest party in Iceland

By Staff

  • Leaders of the Left Green Movement Katrín Jakobsdóttir (left) chairwoman of the of Left Green Movement and Svandís Svavarsdóttir (right) Minister of the Environment 2009-2013. Photo/Valli-GVA-Vísir

The laterst poll from the polling firm MMR confirms that the political sentiment in Iceland has taken a sharp turn to the left: The leftist Left Green Movement is now the largest party, with 27% of voters saying they would vote for the party. The conservative Independence Party, polls at 23.8%.

The other left wing party, the small Social Democratic Alliance, also increases its support from 7% in the last MMR poll to 7.8%. All the parties on the center and right lose support between polls. The center right Restoration now polls at 5.6%, the centrist Bright Future polls at 5.3% and the center right Progress Party at 9.7%.

The anti-establishment Pirate Party stands still, with 13.6% support. The Pirate Party dominated the polls in 2015 and 2016, polling as in the 30s for more than a year. However, the party managed to secure only 14.5% of the vote in the October 2016 election.

Read more:  Cloud of Panama Papers: Prime Minister refuses to discuss tax-haven report with Parliament

Support for the right-wing coalition government has also dropped between polls, from 35.2% to 32.6%. Less than a third of voters now say they support the coalition government of the Independence party, center right Restoration and centrist Bright Future.  

 

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Polls show a large shift to the left as new right wing coalition loses ground

By Staff

  • Katrín Jakobsdóttir The leader of the Left green movement is one of the most popular and trusted politicians in Iceland. Photo/Frikki Þór

According to the latest poll from Gallup Iceland the political sentiment of Icelandic voters has taken a sharp left turn after the formation the new right-wing coalition government. The poll shows all of the coalition parties losing ground after the election while The Left Green Movement and the Social Democratic Alliance make large gains. 

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The poll also shows that only 44% support the coalition government, while the combined support of the three coalition parties which make up the government, the conservative Independence Party, center right Restoration and the centrist Bright Future is 40.5% from the 46.7% they received in the October 29 elections. The three parties have a narrow one MP majority in Parliament.

The poll shows that the conservative Independence party has lost 1%, from 29% down to 28%. The center-right Restoration, which loses nearly half of its support, dropping from 10.5% to 5.3%, while the centrist Bright Future polls at 7.2%, the same it received in the elections.

Read more: Left-greens want to abolish law making it punishable to insult foreign leaders

The two leftist parties make significant gains: The leftist Left-Green Movement. In the October 29 elections the Left-Greens received 15.9%, but now enjoy the support of 22.8% of voters. The poll also registers large gains for the small Social-Democratic Alliance, which 7.3% compared to 5.7% in the elections. The anti-establishment Pirate Party, however, slides, polling at 13.4%, compared to the 14.5% it received on October 29.

Major gains for opposition, led by Left-Greens
The newspaper Fréttatíminn analyzes the findings of the poll, finding that if elections were held today the ruling coalition parties would be unable to form a government, their combined strength dropping to 27 MPs from 32. The Independence Party would lose 2 MPs and Restoration would lose 4 MPs each, while Bright Future gains one. The Left Greens would gain 5 MPs, Social Democratic Alliance would gain 2, The Pirate Party lose one and center right Progress Party would lose one.

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Poll shows gains for opposition Left-Greens as support for right wing coalition parties slides

By Staff

  • Color-coordinated political leaders From left: Katrín Jakobsdóttir, chairwoman of leftist Left Green Movement, Bjarni Benediktsson, chairman of conservative Independence Party, Smári McCarthy, one of the leaders of anti-establishment Pirate Party and Óttarr Proppé, chairman of centrist Bright Future. Photo/Vísir.

The voters are not particularly pleased with the new right-wing coalition, a poll conducted by the polling firm MMR reveals. The poll, which was taken on January 10, the same day as the leaders of the conservative Independence party, center-right Restoration and centrist Bright Future unveiled the coalition agreement, shows that only 39.3% support the three parties, down from the 46.7% they received in the October 29 elections. The three parties have a narrow one MP majority in Parliament.

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The poll shows that the conservative Independence party has lost 3%, from 29% down to 26.1%. The centrist Bright Future also loses support, dropping from 7.2% to 6.3%. The biggest loser is the center-right Restoration, which loses more than a third of its support, dropping from 10.5% to 6.9%.  

Poll 10.jan 2017

Swing to left Poll 10.jan 2017 (above) and election results (below). Parties are arranged from left to right according to their position on the political spectrum. Photo/Electrograph

Only one political party makes significant gains: The leftist Left-Green Movement. In the October 29 elections the Left-Greens received 15.9%, but now enjoy the support of 24.3% of voters. The poll registers almost no changes in the support for the other opposition parties, anti-establishment Pirate Party, the small Social-Democratic Alliance and the center-right Progress Party.

Major gains for opposition, led by Left-Greens
The newspaper Fréttatíminn analyzes the findings of the poll, finding that if elections were held today the ruling coalition parties would be unable to form a government, their combined strength dropping to 26 MPs from 32. The Independence Party and Restoration would lose 3 MPs each, while the Left Greens would gain 6.

Gunnar Smári Egilsson, the editor of Fréttatíminn which has been critical of the current coalition parties and the new government, points out that the poll shows the extremely precarious position the government is in. Iceland has experienced significant political turmoil since the fall of 2008 when the Icelandic financial system crashed.

 

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Negotiations on center-right coalition begin as Left Green's make a last minute appeal

By Staff

  • Bjarni Benediktsson The Chairman of the Conservative Independence party arriving at Bessastaðir, the official residence of the President of Iceland, to receive the mandate to form a coalition government. Photo/Stefán.

Formal negotiations between the conservative Independence Party, the center-right Restoration, and the centrist Bright Future, will begin at half past three today, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service reports. Bjarni Benediktsson, the chairman of the Independence party received the mandate to form a government from the President of Iceland on the last day of 2016. Formal negotiations will begin today, while the chairmen of the three parties had been engaged in informal negotiations since before Christmas.

Read more: Negotiations on a center-right coalition government resumed

Left-greens, Social Democrats and centrist Progress party appeal to the conservatives

 

Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Panama papers

Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson The Progress party, the party of disgraced former Prime Minister, has so far been excluded from talks on the formation of a coalition government. Screenshot from the infamous "Wintris Interview".

At the same time as formal negotiations on the formation of a center-right government take place, the leaders of the centrist Progress party and the chairman of the Left Green Movement have been in neogiations, the local news site Vísir reports. The local newspaper Morgunblaðið reports that the two parties are preparing to invite the conservative Independence party to form a new coalition government. Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the chairman of the Left greens, told the local news site Vísir, that the two parties had been in talks over the Holidays, and that the small Social Democratic Alliance had been party to the talks.

A coalition government of the Left greens, Independence party, Progress party and Social Democratic Alliance would have a solid majority of 42 MPs, (out of 62) compared to the very narrow 2 vote majority (32 MPs) of a center-right coalition governmnet composed of the parties who are currently engaged in negotiations. 

A referendum on EU membership
According to Benedikt Jóhannesson, the chairman of Restoration, the three parties have already agreed upon compromises on the thorniest issues differences seperating the three parties, including the attitude to the European Union. Restoration and Bright Future have supported Iceland joining the EU, while the Independence party has been a fierce opponent of membership. According to Vísir the parties have agreed to a referendum on EU membership.

Read more: The stalemate in Icelandic politics: What' going on and why is there no coalition in sight?

The negotiations between the Progress pary and the Left Greens provide a whole new and unexplored angle to the complex negotiations on the formation of a coalition government. To this date the Progress party has been excluded from negotiations between the parties. The reason was that none of the parties in parliament, with the exception of the Independence party, was willing to work with the party of the disgraced former Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson. Sigmundur Davíð resigned in the spring of 2016 over revalations in the Panama Papers.

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