Iceland’s PM: Elections the End of Four-Party System Skip to content

Iceland’s PM: Elections the End of Four-Party System

By Iceland Review

Prime Minister of Iceland Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, who chairs the Social Democrats, said during the election vigil on RÚV on Saturday that she believes the results of the municipal elections in Iceland mark the beginning of the end of the four-party system.

Prime Minister of Iceland Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.

In the past decades, Iceland has been ruled by four parties, the right-wing Independence Party, the center-right Progressive Party, the center-left Social Democratic Alliance (Althýduflokkurinn before that) and the left-wing Left-Green Movement (Althýdubandalagid before that).

Sigurdardóttir said the Social Democrats take this message very seriously. Overall, her party did not perform well in the elections. It lost council members widely, although it also gained support in a few municipalities, reports.

“I believe we are experiencing a great turning point in Icelandic politics which will have a significant impact on the future political landscape. I have the feeling that this might be the beginning of the end of the four-party system,” the PM stated.

Sigurdardóttir said all parties must take a lesson from this message.

Chairman of the Progressive Party Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson said he is content with the outcome of the elections, although his party didn’t earn any seats on the Reykjavík City Council.

After the elections, the Progressive Party only has two representatives in the entire capital region. However, the party performed much better outside the capital region and Gunnlaugsson declared that landslides had been made all over the country with the best results in years.

Chairman of the Independence Party Bjarni Benediktsson said the outcome of the elections was much better for his party than in the parliamentary elections of last year.

He said he doesn’t consider the results in Reykjavík, where his party lost two council members, a significant loss or shock. The blow had come in the 2009 parliamentary elections.

Benediktsson pointed out that it was in fact the government coalition parties, the Social Democrats and the Left-Greens, who suffered the most losses. “The left swing is over,” he said, referring to the results of the parliamentary elections in 2009.

Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, who chairs the Left-Green Movement, admitted that the situation in Reykjavík wasn’t good, as his party only earned one seat on the council.

However, Sigfússon said that overall the situation is acceptable, pointing out that the Left-Greens had widely kept their representatives on local councils.

Click here to read more about the outcome of the municipal elections.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!