Halla Tómasdóttir Gains Steam

Halla Tómasdóttir, candidate for president of Iceland

Halla Hrund Logadóttir and Katrín Jakobsdóttir are neck and neck in the race for president of Iceland, according to the latest poll by Gallup. Halla Tómasdóttir, who had been polling below 5% jumps to 11%, RÚV reports.

Baldur in third place

The polling followed a televised debate on 3 May. Halla Hrund, the Director General of Iceland’s National Energy Authority drops in the poll from 36% down to 25% as Katrín, the former prime minister and chairperson of the Left-Green Movement, rises from 23% to 25%.

Baldur Þórhallsson, a professor of political science at the University of Iceland, is firmly in third place with 18%, while Halla Tómasdóttir, a businessperson and former candidate, eclipses Jón Gnarr, a comedian and former mayor of Reykjavík, who is polling at 10%. Other candidates are polling at lower numbers, but Arnar Þór Jónsson, a lawyer and former judge, has reached 6%.

Difference by age and gender

When the polling is broken down by age, gender, education and political views, it becomes clear that Halla Hrund is popular among men, while Baldur is popular among women. Older people are more likely to support Katrín or Halla Hrund, while younger people favour Baldur and Jón.

The election will take place in one round on 1 June.

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Presidential Candidates Katrín and Baldur Neck and Neck

Bessastaðir, official residence of the President of Iceland.

The field of candidates for the office of president of Iceland is becoming clearer, with elections set for June 1. The frontrunners are neck and neck, according to pollster Gallup, with former Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir polling at 30% and Baldur Þórhallsson, professor of political science, at 26%.

Vísir reports that this survey shows that Katrín and Baldur are statistically equal. Comedian and former mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr is in third place with 18%, the only other candidate in double digits.

Political turmoil after Katrín’s announcement

The race was shaken up by Katrín’s announcement that she would resign as prime minister and leader of the Left-Green Movement to run for president, a mostly ceremonial position that comes with limited political powers. Independence Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson took over as prime minister as other cabinet positions were reshuffled. Katrín remains a popular politician, even though her coalition government has lost public support during this term.

Other candidates are polling at lower numbers. Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO of B Team, polls at 7%, with lawyer Arnar Þór Jónsson and Halla Hrund Logadóttir, director general of Iceland’s National Energy Authority both at 4%.

Age and gender divide

According to Gallup, older people are more likely to vote for Katrín, while Jón gets most of his support from younger people. Women are also more likely to support Baldur, Halla Tómasdóttir and Katrín, with men more likely to support Jón.

The deadline to confirm candidacy is in two weeks and the election takes place on June 1. The current president, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, announced on January 1 that he would not run again after serving two terms.

Katrín Leads in Presidential Poll

Katrín Jakobsdóttir Bjarni Benediktsson Sigurður Ingi Ráðherra

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who resigned as prime minister and leader of the Left-Green Movement this weekend to run for president of Iceland, leads the race according to a new survey by pollster Maskína.

32.9% said they would vote for Katrín in the presidential election scheduled for June 1, Mbl.is reports. Katrín announced her campaign last week after months of speculation, throwing the future of the coalition government she headed into question. Discussions are ongoing within her party and coalition partners the Independence Party and the Progressive Party about the shape of a new cabinet to serve until next year’s parliamentary elections. Katrín remains as prime minister until a new coalition is formed.

Baldur close on Katrín’s heels

26.7% said they would vote for Baldur Þórhallsson, professor of political science. Jón Gnarr, comedian and former mayor of Reykjavík, had 19.6% support in the poll. 7.9% said they would vote for Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO of B Team. Halla Hrund Logadóttir, director general of the National Energy Authority, had 5.7% support, while other candidates polled below 5%.

The current president, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, announced on January 1 that he would not be seeking reelection after two terms in office. The role of president is a largely ceremonial one, although it comes with limited political powers.

Coalition Government in Flux After PM Decision

government coalition

The future of the coalition government is uncertain following yesterday’s announcement by Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir that she would leave her post to run for the office of president.

Katrín’s Left-Green Movement, the Independence Party and the Progressive Party make up the coalition, but it is unclear if it will continue until the elections set for next year. It has not been announced who will take over from Katrín as prime minister or if new elections will be called ahead of schedule.

Unclear who will be prime minister

According to Morgunblaðið, the leaders of the coalition parties are in talks about the next steps, with both the Independence Party and the Progressive Party laying claim to the office of prime minister. If talks break down, a new coalition could be formed to serve until next year’s elections.

Opposition MPs have called for a new election immediately. The Left-Green Movement will also need to choose a successor for Katrín, who resigned as leader yesterday after 11 years at the helm. Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, minister of social affairs and the labour market, has taken Katrín’s place until party members make their decision.

Dozens of candidates for president

Katrín is leaving parliamentary politics to campaign for the largely ceremonial office of president. This is the first time in Iceland’s history that the reigning prime minister runs for president. Current president, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, announced on January 1 that he would leave the office this summer after having served two terms.

Other candidates for president include Jón Gnarr, comedian and former mayor of Reykjavík, Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO of B Team, Baldur Þórhallsson, professor of political science, and dozens of others. The election takes place in one round on June 1. Therefore, the next president could be elected with a significant minority of the total vote.

Iceland President Cancels Ukraine Trip

President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson.

President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson cancelled a visit to Ukraine over safety concerns. The trip was scheduled for Easter Sunday, Mbl.is reports.

Security concerns

Among the events scheduled for President Guðni’s visit were a meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, followed by a ceremony for the two year anniversary of the Bucha massacre when Russian troops invaded the city. The president was to attend a conference following the ceremony.

Due to security concerns, the Ukrainian government cancelled the event. In the last few days, Russian troops have increased the number of missile and drone strikes, affecting energy infrastructure.

Presidential election coming up

President Guðni is enjoying his last few months in office, with a presidential election set for June 1. In his New Year’s Day address on January 1, he announced that he would not run again after two terms in office, totalling eight years.

Among the candidates are Baldur Þórhallsson, professor of political science, and Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO of B Team, while comedian Jón Gnarr is expected to announce today whether or not he will run. Among other rumoured candidates is Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

Baldur Runs for President

Baldur Þórhallsson, professor of political science

Baldur Þórhallsson, professor of political science at the University of Iceland, announced his candidacy for president of Iceland today, Vísir reports.

In a meeting at Bæjarbíó theatre in Hafnarfjörður, Baldur was introduced by his husband, actor and media personality Felix Bergsson. “We can’t sit by anymore and ignore your words of encouragement,” said Baldur in his speech. “We’re going to answer the call loud and clear and go for it.”

Many candidates in the running

Baldur’s candidacy has been rumoured for weeks. A Facebook group to encourage Baldur and Felix to run was founded at the beginning of March by Gunnar Helgason, an actor and creative partner of Felix. The group already has over 18 thousand members.

Earlier this week, Halla Tómasdóttir, a business person, CEO of B Team and a previous candidate for the office, announced her candidacy. Candidates who have already announced include Agnieszka Sokolowska, Arnar Þór Jónsson, Axel Pétur Axelsson, Ástþór Magnússon, Húni Húnfjörð, Sigríður Hrund Pétursdóttir and Tómas Logi Hallgrímsson.

Election set for June

On New Year’s Day, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson announced his decision not to run again in the election, set for June 1. He was elected in 2016 with 39% of the vote. Halla also ran in 2016, coming in second with 28% of the vote.

The president is head of state in Iceland and the role is mostly ceremonial, although it comes with limited political powers according to the constitution. A number of people have signed up online to collect the 1,500 necessary signatures of supporters to be allowed to run for the office, despite not having publicly announced their candidacy, with the deadline set at April 26.

 

Presidential Race Heats Up

Halla Tómasdóttir, candidate for president of Iceland

A new contender has entered the race for president of Iceland. Halla Tómasdóttir, a business person, CEO of B Team and a previous candidate for the office, announced her candidacy at a press conference yesterday, Heimildin reports.

On New Year’s Day, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson announced his decision not to run again in the election, set for June 1. He was elected in 2016 with 39% of the vote. Halla also ran in 2016, coming in second with 28% of the vote.

Ready to make a difference

“If you want a president who is ready to go to work and believes that by harnessing our creativity in the fields of culture, arts, and business we can accomplish anything, then I’m ready to commit myself to make a difference,” Halla said at the well attended press conference in Reykjavík. “If you want a president who wants to build bridges, has empathy and joy, and believes that equality is the key to an even stronger society, then I am sincerely ready, along with my husband, to serve the interests of Icelanders with all my heart.”

Multiple candidates in the running

The president is head of state in Iceland and the role is mostly ceremonial, although it comes with limited political powers according to the constitution. A number of people have signed up online to collect the 1,500 necessary signatures of supporters to be allowed to run for the office, with the deadline set at April 26, but only a handful of candidates have formally announced that they’re running.  They include Agnieszka Sokolowska, Arnar Þór Jónsson, Axel Pétur Axelsson, Ástþór Magnússon, Húni Húnfjörð, Sigríður Hrund Pétursdóttir and Tómas Logi Hallgrímsson.

A recent poll conducted by a publicist showed 35% approval for Halla’s candidacy. Baldur Þórhallsson, a professor of political science who is considering a run, had 53% approval in the same poll. Many other names have been rumoured as possible candidates.