Friday, October 28, 2016

Icelandic Election

Tomorrow, Iceland goes to the polls.

Before I get to the future, I'll look at the past:

In 1937, prior to Independence of the country, the election produced the following result:
11/6 - Independence Party
12/7 - Progressive Party
6/2 - Social Democrats
2/1 - Communist Party
2/0 - Farmers Party

At the time, there was an upper house, results show after the slash.

There were two elections in 1942, during the middle of WW2 and the Allied Occupation (which was designed to deter a NAZI occupation) The second of those elections had the following results:

13/7 - Independence Party
10/5 - Progressive Party
7/3 - Socialist Party (Communistic)
5/2 - Social Democrats

By late 1959, the elections were producing results like this:

16/8 - Independence Party
11/6 - Progressive Party
7/3 - Peoples Alliance (Hard Left)
6/3 - Social Democratic

Finally, in 1991, the two houses merged, and the 1995 election produced the following results:

25 - Independence Party
15 - Progressive Party
9 - Peoples Alliance (hard left)
7 - Social Democratic
4 - National Awakening (left)
3 - Women's List

By this time, coalitions had taken a few forms.
Independence preferred to form alliances with the Social Democrats, while the Progressives liked to form alliances with the Peoples Alliance. However, there were times when both Independence and Progressive would sit in coalition as well. Starting in 1995, however, IP/PP Coalitions were more common, and while the lead of the coalition would change, it would last until 2007.

25 - Independence
18 - Social Democratic Alliance (merger of some earlier parties)
9 - Left-Greens
8 - Progressives
4 - Liberal Party

As you can see, the Progressives had lost quite a bit of popularity, being seen as simply a part of coalitions including the

The Great Recession hit Iceland hard. An election had to be held by 2009.

20 - Social Democratic Alliance
16 - Independence Party
14 - Left-Greens
9 - Progressives
4 - Citizens Movement (Liberal/Populist/Protest)

Despite the new left-wing government (SDA/LG) things continued to get worse for Iceland, and by the next election, in 2013 (the final election before the current one) the Progressives had made a strong recovery, being seen as a possible alternative to the then major parties.

19 - Independence
19 - Progressive
9 - Social Democratic Alliance
7 - Left-Greens
6 - Bright Future
3 - Pirate Party

This brings us to the current time.

Over the past elections, Iceland had been dominated by only a small number of parties. Except for a small period in 1959 where tight competition between the two major parties allowed the Social Democrats to form a government, most governments had either been lead by Independence or the Progressives. This continued until 2009, when the Social Democrats and Left-Greens formed a government of their own.

Things, however, changed.
The political damage done by the great recession can easily be seen by a poll during the crisis earlier this year.

In April, on the eve of a possible snap election, the polls showed this was the most likely result:
28 - Pirate
16 - Independence (Conservative)
7 - Left-Greens
7 - Social Democrats
5 - Progressive (Rural Liberal)

Since then we've seen some changes. Important among them is that two other parties, both liberal in outlook, have risen. Additionally, the Progressives, hard hit by scandal, have recovered. Finally, the Left-Greens have gained support as well.

My current prediction is as follows:

16 - Independence (Conservative)
12 - Pirate
11 - Left-Greens
8 - Progressive (Rural Liberal)
6 - Reform (Green-Liberals)
6 - Social Democrats
4 - Bright Future (Liberal)

There are 63 seats in the Parliament, so a majority of 32 is needed. The Pirates and Left-Greens have a combined 23 on these numbers. This is, of course, just a prediction, and could be off. However, there are little to no chances that a simple two or even three party coalition can govern.

I am, however, fairly certain the left is set to win. The Progressives are behind the scandals of the past government, and the Independence Party has already said they'd refuse to with with the Pirate Party (who feels the same about them) As such, the chance that either of the two current government parties gets into government is minimal.

I'll keep you updated on the results; if possible, as the numbers come in.

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