Professor in political science Ólafur Th. Hardarson said there are opportunities involved in founding a new liberal and green central political party in Iceland, as Gudmundur Steingrímsson, a former MP for the Progressive Party, intends to do.
Althingi, the Icelandic parliament. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
Steingrímsson, who left the Progressive Party on Tuesday, reasoned that there is currently a vacuum in the Icelandic political landscape and Hardarson agrees; he believes Steingrímsson’s move might strengthen the government’s position, especially in regard to voters who support the EU, ruv.is reports.
Hardarson stated that the new party might appeal to EU-minded supporters of the Independence and Progressive Parties, as well as to supporters of the Social Democrats who believe the party is leaning too much to the left in the coalition with the Left-Greens.
Whether that suffices to obtain a seat in parliament is a different matter and depends on how successful Steingrímsson is in recruiting powerful people, Hardarson added.
Hardarsson explained that since 1970 around ten parties outside the four conventional political parties have made it to parliament, most of which were the results of a split from the old parties.
Since 1971 there has usually been a fifth party in parliament, such as The Movement today. However, most of these new parties have been short-lived, only lasting one or two terms with an electorate of between five and 12 percent.
Click here to read more about Steingrímsson leaving the Progressive Party.