With the Icelandic election just days away, here’s a closer look at some of the parties currently not represented in the Icelandic parliament who are hoping to gain representation in this year’s election.
The Centre Party is a centrist and populist party with a belief in liberalism, and was formed by former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson last month. Sigmundur Davíð served as Prime Minister from May 2013 to April 2016, leading the Independence–Progressive coalition government. However, he stepped aside after he and his wife were implicated in the Panama Papers and later lost the premiership of the Progressive Party in a close race against Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson. Since losing the leadership, he has frequently claimed that there has been a conspiracy against him and also suggested that the Progressive Party’s current leadership does not represent the will of its members.
In an open letter in September, Sigmundur Davíð announced his plans to set up a new political party to “offer stability and guard traditional values, but at the same time stand for progress and new ideas”. The Centre Party was born.
In polls since its formation on September 24th, the party has overtaken the Progressives, with the most recent poll putting its support at just over 12%, compared to 8.6% for the Progressive Party.
The People’s Party is a populist party founded in 2016 by visually impaired law graduate and former Icelandic X-factor contestant Inga Sæland. The party, which campaigns primarily on better treatment for poor and disabled people, narrowly missed out on entering parliament in the last election, after achieving only 3.5% of the vote. The party rallies against poverty and corruption, but has also come under fire after Sæland made some controversial remarks regarding immigration; in a Facebook post, she asked whether it was acceptable for homeless Icelanders to live in poor conditions whilst asylum seekers receive benefits from the government.
Polling for this year’s election puts the party’s chances of entering parliament for the first time on a knife edge, with the most recent poll putting its support on 4.7%, narrowly short of the 5% threshold.
Dawn is a centrist and anti-establishment party formed in 2012, after three political parties – The Movement, Citizens’ Movement and the Liberal Party – merged. The party traces its roots from the protests in 2008 over the Icelandic banking crisis. The party supports a referendum on EU membership and ending any private sector influence in the health service. In the 2013 elections, the party narrowly missed out on entering parliament with only 3.1% of the vote. Since then, their support has fallen – with the party gaining just 1.7% in last year’s election. Polls that have monitored Dawn’s support suggest the party will struggle to get anywhere close to one percent of the vote this year.
The People’s Front is an anti-capitalist party with a belief in revolutionary socialism, environmentalism, pacifism and eurosceptism. The party was formed in 2013 by Þorvaldur Þorvaldsson, a self-declared communist, who was encouraged to enter politics in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. The party seeks to “free the people from the yoke of market capitalism” and withdraw Iceland from NATO, calling it an imperialist organisation. The party has not performed well in the last two elections; receiving 0.06% in 2013 and 0.3% in 2016.