Vilhjálmur Th. Vilhjálmsson, currently the top-ranking councilor for the Independence Party in Reykjavík, won the Independence Party’s top seat in Saturday’s primaries for city council. Vilhjálmur received 6,400 votes for the top seat, or 52% of the votes reports the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RÚV.
Vilhjálmur’s main opponent, former talk show host Gísli Marteinn Baldursson, currently deputy city councilor for the Independence Party in Reykjavík, received 5,200 votes for the top seat – 1,200 less than Vilhjálmur and placed third.
Gísli Marteinn, seen as representing the new generation in the Independence Party, was believed to have the support of the core the party. But he was unable to dislodge Vilhjálmur who was been active in city politics for several decades.
According to anonymous sources quoted in the column called “From Day to Day” on the editorial pages of the daily Fréttabladid, “many supporters of the Independence Party that like Gísla Marteinn did not want to vote for him because they thought it was clear that he was being remote controlled by the party’s old power clique. David [Oddsson] has quit, and his people should also step aside and not try to run affairs from behind the scenes.”
The Independence Party’s top seated female, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, currently a councilor for the Independence Party in Reykjavík, secured the runner up position and received, by far, the most votes for the candidates for the first 10 places.
Political Science professor, Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, told RÚV that Vilhjálmur and Hanna Birna were the undisputed winners of the primaries. He also said that the achievements of women in the primaries, four of the top eight seats are held by women, was very good.
According to RÚV, Stefán Jón Hafstein the leader of the Social Democrats in Reykjavík, said that the results of the primaries would move the Independents quest for fresh leadership “back to square one”. He believes that the R-List supporters who in recent surveys have leaned toward the Independence Party can now “come home”.
12,453 cast votes in the primaries, 533 of those were invalid. The outcome of the primaries is binding for the the top nine seats.
The results of the Independence Party Primaries for the Reykjavík City Council are as follows:
1) Vilhjálmur Th. Vilhjálmsson
2) Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir
3) Gísli Marteinn Baldursson
4) Kjartan Magnússon
5) Júlíus Vífill Ingvarsson,
6) Thorbjörg Helga Vigfúsdóttir.
7) Jórunn Frímannsdóttir
8) Sif Sigfúsdóttir
9) Bolli Thoroddsen