List of Candidates in Reykjavík Elections Becoming Clearer

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The list of candidates running for municipal elections in Reykjavík this spring is gradually becoming clearer. Women are set to form the majority of party leaders.

Women likely to form a majority

With two and a half months until municipal elections – and just over a month until the nomination deadline – it looks as if a minimum of nine candidates will be vying for the mayoral seat in Reykjavík, RÚV reports. The Social Democratic Alliance and the Pirate Party have already introduced their list of candidates, with Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson leading the former party and councillor Dóra Björt Guðjónsdóttir chairing the latter.

Two primary elections will be held in Reykjavík next week when the Left-Green Movement and the Reform Party will decide on their list of candidates. Three women will be vying for first place for the Left-Greens: meteorologist Elín Björk Jónasdóttir, councilwoman Líf Magneudóttir, and substitute city councillor Elín Oddný Sigurðardóttir. Þórdís Jóna Sigurðardóttir and Þórdís Lóa Þórhallsdóttir will hope to lead the Reform Party

Former anchorman to lead the Progressives?

The Progressive Party will be holding a constituency congress in Reykjavík on March 10 to introduce its list of candidates. It is widely believed that former RÚV anchor and journalist Einar Þorsteinsson will be leading the party. Handballer Björgvin Páll Gústavsson has announced that he will not be seeking first place.

Primary elections for the Independence Party in Reykjavík will be held on March 18 and 19. A new leader will be elected given that Eyþór Laxdal Arnalds has decided to step aside. Substitute councilwoman Ragnhildur Alda María Vilhjálmsdóttir will be running against councilwoman Hildur Björnsdóttir for chair.

The Centre Party will hold primary elections on March 26, where members will vote on its top three candidates. Councilwoman Vigdís Hauksdóttir will once again be running for chair.

The People’s Party has not announced when it will reveal its list of candidates. It will not hold primary elections, and councilwoman Kolbrún Baldursdóttir intends to hold onto first place. The same holds for the Socialist Party, where councilwoman Sanna Magdalena Mörtudóttir will lead the party.

This means that women will be leading seven out of the nine parties running in the municipal elections.

(Municipal elections will be held across the country on May 14, 2022. Both citizens of Iceland, as well as residents of Iceland who have lived in the country for five years or longer, can vote in municipal elections.)

Parliamentary Election Results: Progressive Party Gains Five Seats

The results of the 2021 Parliamentary election was announced shortly after 9:00 AM on Sunday. The current three-party coalition government keeps their majority, with 37 MPs out of the total 63. 

The coalition to negotiate further cooperation

Voting booths for the Parliamentary elections closed at 10 pm on Saturday, and the results were announced shortly after 9 am on Sunday. Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s coalition – comprising the Left-Green Movement, the Independence Party, and the Progressive Party – will keep their majority. 

The Progressive Party enjoyed the greatest success relative to the 2017 election, gaining 13 seats in Parliament (five more than four years ago) and earning 17.3% of votes. The Independence party remains the largest party in Parliament, with 16 seats and 24.4% of the votes. The Left-green party had 12.6% of the votes and eight seats in Parliament. That’s three fewer than the last election; two MPs had, however, left the party during the last term.

Before the election, the leaders of the three parties stated that if the government kept its majority, their first choice would be to negotiate further cooperation. The leaders iterated this intention during a panel discussion on RÚV on Sunday. 

A win for the People’s Party

Besides the Progress Party, the People’s Party gained two more seats in Parliament, relative to the 2017 election. The party now holds six seats in Parliament. The Reform Party (Viðreisn) also gained an extra seat, now holding five seats compared to the previous four. The Pirates and the Social Democrats have six seats each.

The Centre Party, led by the former Chairman of the Progressive Party Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, suffered a heavy defeat on Saturday; the party lost four seats, now holding only three seats in parliament. Sigmundur Davíð was the only leader whose party has seats in Parliament who was absent from the RÚV panel on Sunday.

Polls had the socialist party taking a seat in Parliament, but they received only about 4% of the vote , which did not suffice to breach the 5% barrier to win a seat in Parliament. 

So close to a female majority

When the results of the elections were confirmed, news quickly spread around the world that Iceland had become the first European country to elect a female-majority Parliament. The celebrations were short-lived, however, as a recount on Sunday produced a result just short of historic.

The initial count had female candidates winning 33 seats, but the recount saw three seats ceded to men. As it stands, female candidates now occupy 30 seats of Parliament’s 63. This tally was previously reached during parliamentary elections in 2016. Nonetheless, with women constituting 48% of the total seats, this is the highest percentage for women lawmakers in Europe.