General Election could see Pirates emerge as key players
Iceland holds its general election today for all 63 seats in its parliament or Althing. The election would normally have been held in April 2017 but was brought forward after a sustained anti-government campaign as a result of revelations in the Panama Papers.
Of the 63 seats, 54 are elected in six multi-member constituencies and the remaining nine seats are top up seats allocated at national level to ensure the proportional system gives a fair balance.
In the general election in 2013 the centre-right Independence Party took an extra three seats to take 19 seats. However, the centrist to centre-right Progressive Party won an additional ten seats and also took 19 seats. In third place was the centre-left Social Democratic Alliance who had been the ruling party since 2009 but who dropped ten seats to take just nine seats. The left-wing Left-Green Movement took seven seats with the centrist Bright Future on six seats and the Pirate Party (who believe in direct democracy) on three seats.
There are twelve political parties contesting the election. If the most recent polls are to be believed then the Independence Party will emerge on top by a narrow margin with 21.9% of the vote, down from 26.7% in 2013. The Pirate Party, which won three seats in 2013 with 5.10% of the vote, looks set to take 19.1% of the vote to put them in second place.
The other main centre-right party, the Progressive Party, is on 10.1% down from 24.3%; whilst the previously successful Social Democrats remain in the doldrums with 7.6% down from 12.85% in 2013 and 29.79% in 2009.
Other parties that look set to do well on the back of government unpopularity are the Left Green Movement on 16.0% up from 10.87% in 2013 and a brand new party, the Viðreisn (Reform) a centre-right splinter group from the Independence Party which is on 9.3%. Bright Future is on 8.8% slightly up from their 2013 position of 8.25%.
You can find a short description of the key party policies here.