Iceland’s ruling left-right coalition is set to retain its majority after parliamentary elections on Saturday, but Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir’s left-wing environmental movement is emerging weakened compared to its two right-wing allies.
At the announcement of the partial results of the legislative elections in Iceland, applause of relief to the HQ of the Left-Green movement, at the head of the ruling coalition: the government majority, which according to the polls, was threatened, held.
Never since the spectacular bankruptcy of Icelandic banks in 2008 and the serious crisis that followed, has an outgoing Icelandic government retained its majority.
But the environmentalist left movement of Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir appears weakened compared to its two right-wing allies. Shortly after the celebrations, a question already arises: that of the difficulty of forming a new government. “We will first think about our results and then assess what will happen. There are obviously a lot of things to think about before forming a new government”, explains Katrin Jakobsdottir. “We are going to have to analyze the precise scores of the government parties in total as well as our results. According to these preliminary results, we are losing ground a little and the progressives are increasing.”
Towards a change of Prime Minister
According to this still partial count, the indebted Conservative Party of Independence would obtain, with nearly 26% of the vote, 20 of the 63 seats in the Millennial Parliament of Iceland.
But with 17% of the vote, the big winner of the evening is the center-right Progress Party. Sigurdur Ingi Jóhannsson’s progressives would win 13 seats, five more than in the previous elections in 2017.
The progressives are therefore in the process of stealing from the Left-Green movement of Mrs Jakobsdottir the rank of second party in Iceland. The environmentalist left would fall to ten seats, one less than four years ago (14.5%).
According to the latest projections, the alliance is credited with 41 of the 63 seats in Parliament, with more than a third of the votes counted. Despite the Covid-19 crisis, the government majority that marked the return of political stability in Iceland will in all probability remain in power.
If the future of the coalition remains uncertain, the three party leaders had agreed to start discussions if they managed to maintain the government majority, which was threatened according to the polls.
The question of a change of Prime Minister will have to arise. The weakening of the Prime Minister, however, raises the question of her future in Stjórnarrádid, the modest White House where the Icelandic heads of government sit.