Iceland’s Government Clings to Weak Majority Skip to content

Iceland’s Government Clings to Weak Majority

By Iceland Review

The Social Democrat-Left-Green coalition in the Icelandic government survived yesterday’s voting in parliament on a vote of no confidence submitted by the Independence Party—but barely. Thirty-two out of 63 MPs voted in favor of the coalition, 30 against it.


Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

“Now do the dog and the pig want to feast on the bred baked by the little yellow hen alone?” Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir asked the opposition from the podium before the voting began, referencing the folktale of ‘The Little Red Hen’ (which is yellow in the Icelandic version).

One MP, Gudmundur Steingrímsson of the Progressive Party, abstained. Another MP from the ranks of the Left-Green Movement, Ásmundur Einar Dadason, acted against the coalition by backing the vote of no confidence last night—today he will leave the Left-Green parliamentary group.

According to Fréttabladid, Dadason’s decision came as a surprise, not least to other Left-Green MPs who had discussed a few hours earlier to show a united front. “I stand here and cannot say anything but ‘yes’ because of the EU matter,” he declared.

He is the third Left-Green MP to leave the coalition; three weeks ago Atli Gíslason and Lilja Mósesdóttir also abandoned the party’s parliamentary group. Now acting as independent MPs, they both supported the vote of no confidence.

The government now has a majority of only one MP in parliament.

At the suggestion of the Movement, the Independence Party’s vote of no confidence was in two parts; special voting was held on the dismissal of parliament and new elections.

Twenty-two MPs voted for that proposition—the entire Independence Party, five Progressive Party MPs and one MP of the Movement—and 36 against, while five MPs abstained.

Click here to read more about the vote of no confidence.

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