Critical Debate Tonight for Presidential Candidates on RÚV Skip to content

Critical Debate Tonight for Presidential Candidates on RÚV

By Ragnar Tómas

Parliamentary candidates debate in August of 2021.
Photo: Parliamentary election debate in 2021 (screenshot from RÚV).

Tonight, all twelve presidential candidates will participate in their first joint debate on RÚV at 7.40 PM. A political scientist has noted the significance of the debate, particularly for inexperienced contenders, and Jón Gnarr, who needs a strong showing in light of declining polls.

All candidates meet for first time

Tonight, all twelve presidential candidates, six women and six men, will convene for a televised debate at 7.40 PM, broadcast live on RÚV. In an interview with RÚV, Eiríkur Bergmann Einarsson, a professor of political science, stressed the importance of the evening for the candidates, as it marks the first time voters can evaluate all contenders on the same stage.

“People want to be able to envision that the candidate is equal to the task, behaves in a manner befitting the office, and is a credit to Iceland. Thus, a lot of things are being scrutinised. Attributes like resolve, vision for the future, tolerance, and goodwill are sought after,” Eiríkur maintained.

Eiríkur added that it would be interesting to follow the discussions, especially since most candidates lack extensive experience in electoral campaigning and public debate at such a high level. Among the candidates is Katrín Jakobsdóttir, “who should be as comfortable as a fish in water, seasoned in such circumstances,” according to Eiríkur, while others will need to prove themselves to the nation. “Like Halla Hrund, who has never participated in such an arena before.”

Crucial night for Jón Gnarr

Eiríkur believes that tonight’s debates could be most crucial for Jón Gnarr. According to the latest survey by the School of Social Sciences at the University of Iceland, his support has significantly dropped, to just over 7%. “History has shown that performance in such settings can be decisive,” Eiríkur observed.

As noted by RÚV, today also marks the start of absentee voting in the capital region, taking place in Holtagarðar, Reykjavík, from 10 AM to 8 PM. Generally, absentee voting occurs at district commissioner offices across the country. Locations can be found on the commissioners’ website.

The 12 candidates slated to attend tonight’s debate:

  • Arnar Þór Jónsson
  • Ásdís Rán Gunnarsdóttir
  • Ástþór Magnússon Wium
  • Baldur Þórhallsson
  • Eiríkur Ingi Jóhannsson
  • Halla Hrund Logadóttir
  • Halla Tómasdóttir
  • Helga Þórisdóttir
  • Jón Gnarr
  • Katrín Jakobsdóttir
  • Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir
  • Viktor Traustason

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