Trust in Government Plummets Following Controversial Bank Sale Skip to content

Trust in Government Plummets Following Controversial Bank Sale

By Yelena

Photo: Golli. The cabinet at Bessastaðir, 2021.

If an election were held today, the current governing coalition would lose 12 of their 38 seats, losing their current majority. The three governing parties: the Left-Green Movement, the Independence Party, and the Progressive Party, would win 26 seats in Alþingi – 32 are needed for a majority government. The data comes from a recent poll Prósent conducted for news outlet Fréttablaðið.

All three governing parties lose following

Seven months since Iceland’s last parliamentary election and five months to the day since the cabinet was appointed, all three governing parties have lost significant following, according to the poll’s results. The Independence Party has experienced the biggest drop as compared to last autumn’s election results: from 24.4% to 17.9%. The Progressive Party now measures 12.4% support, as compared to 17.3% in the last election. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s party the Left-Green Movement has dropped from 12.9% support in the election to 9.6% in the poll.

Among the opposition, both the Pirate Party and the Social-Democratic Alliance have gained significant following when the poll is compared to the election results, and the Reform Party has also seen a slight increase in support, putting them on par with the Left-Green Movement. The People’s Party and Centre Party have both lost following since last autumn. The Socialist Party, which did not win any seats in the last election, would win three if elections were held today.

70% have little trust in Finance Minister

A recent poll from Maskína shows that trust in government ministers has fallen significantly since last year. The number of respondents that stated they trust Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson a lot has fallen by half since last autumn, from 37% to 18%. More than seven out of ten respondents stated they have little or very little trust in Bjarni.

Several controversies have emerged since the government took power last autumn, the biggest of which has been last month’s sale of a 22.5% stake in Íslandsbanki. The government’s handling of the sale has been harshly criticised by opposition MPs and has led to multiple public protests. A racist comment uttered by Progressive Party Chairman Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson has likely impacted his party’s following.

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