Support for Iceland's Independence Party Grows Skip to content

Support for Iceland’s Independence Party Grows

Although the Independence Party has recently been subject to harsh criticism for high donations received from FL Group and Landsbanki in 2006, support for the party has increased, from 24.8 percent last week to 27.3 percent, according to a new opinion poll by Fréttabladid daily.

Chairman of the Independence Party Bjarni Benediktsson. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Chairman of the Independence Party Bjarni Benediktsson admitted to Fréttabladid that these results were surprising. “I have not had any special reason to believe that these unusual circumstances were helping us. But people’s eyes are opening up to the fact that the government that is currently at the helm is unlikely to succeed.”

However, according to another opinion poll, undertaken by Capacent Gallup for national broadcaster RÚV and Morgunbladid daily between April 8 and 12, support for the Independence Party is falling in the north Reykjavík voting district, from 36.4 percent in the 2007 parliamentary elections to 22 percent.

“If these were the results of the elections, we would be experiencing a political earthquake,” described Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, a professor in political science, to Morgunbladid.

Ásta Möller, the fourth seat on the Independence Party ballot in north Reykjavík, said she doubts the Gallup poll indicates the outcome of the elections.

“We will use this poll to cheer us on. Now we have started talking about the issues,” Möller said, adding in agreement with the party’s chairman that people are beginning to realize that the current Social Democrat-Left-Green coalition has in fact performed poorly.

According to the Fréttabladid poll, the Social Democrats remain the country’s largest political party with the support of 32.2 percent. The Left-Greens rank third with support of 25.7 percent. Support for both parties has dropped slightly from last week.

Only 6.8 percent of respondents declared support for the Progressive Party and next to none, 0.7 percent, for the Liberal Party, which ranks lower than both new political parties.

One of these parties, the Public Movement, is on the rise and with 4.9 percent is rapidly approaching the five percent benchmark which would earn it seats in parliament. “I’m touched and grateful,” said the party’s leader Thráinn Bertelsson. “I’m fond of […] the message that we’re a real candidacy.”

The other new political party, the Democratic Movement, was only supported by 2.0 percent of respondents.

Fréttabladid called 800 voters across the country on April 14 and 69.5 percent of those contacted mentioned a political party that they would vote for if the elections were held today.

While 7.8 percent of those contacted did not answer the question, 14.8 percent said they wouldn’t vote for any party and 12.5 percent said that they were undecided. The elections are scheduled for April 25.

Click here to read about other recent opinion polls.

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