Coverage of the local elections held Saturday dominates the Icelandic media today.
According to Morgunbladid, the Independence Party received 42 per cent of the overall votes in the local elections last Saturday compared to 41 per cent in the last elections. 30 per cent voted for the Social Democrats compared to 31 per cent last time around. The Left-Greens received 13 per cent of the votes, a gain of 6 per cent since the last local elections. The Progressive Party polled at 12 per cent, down from 23 per cent from the last elections in 2002. And the Liberals gained 3 per cent, receiving 9 per cent of the votes.
In Reykjavík, the Independence Party secured 7 out of 15 seats on the city council. According to various sources, including Morgunbladid and the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RÚV, they are now negotiating with the Liberals to form a majority in Reykjavík.
Morgunbladid writes that the results “confirm the crisis that the [Progressive] Party has faced over the past quarters”. The Progressive Party has “become a symbol for the so-called heavy industry policy that has admittedly secured low unemployment and high economic growth but is quite controversial because of the effects of hydroelectric dams and industrial plants on the environment”.
In response to the results of the elections, the vice-chairman of the Progressives, Gudni Ágústsson, Minister of Agriculture, said to RÚV that the parliamentary opposition had “persecuted” his party and that media coverage of the Progressives had been “unfair”.