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 emerges weakened compared to its two right-wing allies.
According to the latest projections around 1:30 a.m. GMT, the alliance is credited with 41 of the 63 seats in Parliament, with more than a third of the votes counted.
Even if it is not certain that the three parties will continue to govern together and knowing that the negotiations are traditionally long, Iceland seems to be moving away from a scenario of political blockage that the polls feared.
Never since the spectacular bankruptcy of Icelandic banks in 2008 and the severe crisis that followed, has an outgoing Icelandic government retained its majority.
The Progress Party, big winner
With 17.2% of the vote, the big winner of the evening is the Progress Party (center-right), on the way to rob the Left-Green movement of Mrs. Jakobsdottir (14.5%) the rank of second party in Iceland, behind the indestructible Independence Party (conservative) of ex-Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson (25.9%). According to this still partial count, the latter would obtain 18 (+2) of the 63 seats of the Althingi - the millennial Parliament of Iceland. Sigurdur Ingi Jóhannsson's progressives would win 13 seats, five more than in the previous elections in 2017. The Left-Green movement would fall to ten seats, one less than four years ago.
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. However, the weakening of the Prime Minister raises the question of her future in Stjórnarrádid, the modest White House where the Icelandic heads of government sit. “
We're going to have to look at how much the government parties are going to do in total and what result we're going to do. According to these preliminary results, we are losing ground and the progressives are increasing,
”she commented to AFP earlier in the evening.
Since 2017, the latter has made taxes more progressive, invested in social housing and extended parental leave.
His management of the Covid - only 33 dead - has been hailed.
But this rare left-wing ecologist in power has also had to give up to save her coalition, such as her promise to create a national park in the center of the country.
Scenes of jubilation
In the absence of estimates coming out of the polls in the country of only 370,000 inhabitants and 255,000 voters, more complete results will not be known until late in the morning. However, jubilation already reigned at the Headquarters of the Progress Party. The movement "
is back in the forefront of the political scene
," launched its leader Sigurdur Ingi Jóhannsson in front of his activists. "
I do not see a shift to the left
", for his part noted its leader Bjarni Benediktsson, former Prime Minister and current Minister of Finance.
Survivor of several scandals, including that of the Panama Papers in 2016, he finally consolidated his positions as the polls promised him a decline. After a decade of crisis and scandals, the outgoing coalition marked the return of political stability in Iceland. This is only the second time since the 2008 financial crisis that ruined the banks and many Icelanders that a government has completed its mandate.
Against a backdrop of mistrust of the political class inherited from the financial collapse and repeated scandals, five legislative elections were held between 2007 and 2017 in the country, which is not a member of the European Union.
This period also saw an increase in electoral dispersal.
In the end, eight parties should be represented in Parliament, as in 2017, and not a record nine announced by the polls.