MPs for the Independence Party Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson and Árni Johnsen both dropped down one seat on the ballots in their respective constituencies, the South Reykjavík Constituency and South Constituency, due to a high percentage of Independence Party voters crossing out their names.
Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson (left) and Árni Johnsen. The photos are from althingi.is.
In the case of Thórdarson, 24 percent of Independence Party voters in South Reykjavík crossed out his name, causing him to drop to the second seat on the ballot while Ólöf Nordal, who held the second seat, takes Thórdarson’s place, RÚV reports.
“It is the will of the voters, to cross out, and their right, and one naturally has to respect that,” Thórdarson said in an interview with RÚV radio. “Now my project ahead is to regain the trust of these people.”
Shortly before the elections on Saturday, Thórdarson was subject to controversy surrounding unusually high donations from certain companies received by his party and him personally in 2006.
Johnsen has been a controversial political figure ever since he was pardoned of a fraud and extortion conviction in 2006 and reentered the parliament after serving his sentence. He also dropped down one seat in the 2007 elections, mbl.is reports.
Johnsen claimed in an interview with Fréttir, the local newspaper in the Westman Islands, that his supposed allies in the South Constituency had encouraged voters to cross out his name; 17 percent of Independence Party voters in the constituency crossed him out.
Kjartan Ólafsson, the fifth person on the South Iceland ballot, dismissed Johnsen’s claims. “I would never work that way and I’m confused about what Árni is trying to achieve. He can probably find the reason for his name being crossed out a number of times in his own backyard,” Ólafsson told news website sunnlendingur.is.
In other constituencies and parties, MPs kept their seats, but some only narrowly, mbl.is reports.
Among the Social Democrats, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Industry Össur Skarphédinsson, who was at the top of the ballot in South Reykjavík, and Steinunn Valdís Óskarsdóttir, who held the fourth seat in North Reykjavík, came closest to dropping down one seat.