New Presidential Poll Shows Reversal Between Baldur, Katrín

Katrín Jakobsdóttir Bjarni Benediktsson Sigurður Ingi Ráðherra

Latest polling figures indicate that professor of political science Baldur Þórhallsson and now-former PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir currently lead the race. Baldur stands at 25.8%, while Katrín stands at 22.1%.

The poll was conducted by market research company Prósent on behalf of Mogunblaðið.

A slight reversal from previous results

Polling last week showed Katrín with an advantage over Baldur, with 30% support over his 26%. This week’s polling seems to represent something of a switch between the two frontrunners.

However, given the proximity of the latest results and with plenty of time to go until the June 1 election, it seems it’s still a close race.

The poll was conducted from April 9 to 14, sampling some 2,300 individuals across Iceland.

Clear frontrunners, but still a crowded field

Following them is Jón Gnarr, an actor and former mayor of Reykjavík, with 16.8%. Following Jón Gnarr is Halla Hrund Logadóttir, director of the National Energy Regulatory, with some 10.6% in the latest poll. This makes four candidates with more than 10% support.

Three other candidates in the poll, Halla Tómasdóttir, Arnar Þór Jónsson, and Steinunn Ólina Þorsteinsdóttir, had levels of support under 5%, with the remaining candidates all falling under 1%.

It’s important to note, however, that the deadline for candidacy is April 26, so more candidates may yet announce their campaigns.

 

 

 

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.

President: PM’s Bid May Call for Caretaker Clause in Constitution

President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson addresses the media

Following the resignation of Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and her pursuit of a presidential bid, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson has suggested that it may be time to discuss amending the Constitution to include provisions for a caretaker government. This morning, Katrín Jakobsdóttir handed the keys of the Prime Minister’s Office to her successor, Bjarni Benediktsson.

The Constitution “functioned accordingly”

In light of the resignation of Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir – who is currently gathering endorsements for a Presidential bid – Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, the President of Iceland, believes that it is worth discussing the introduction of new provisions in the Constitution regarding a caretaker government, Mbl.is reports.

Guðni stated this in a speech at the end of a state council meeting at the presidential residence at Bessastaðir yesterday. He noted that there should be a discussion on whether to include in the Constitution provisions about a caretaker government, its limited scope of operation, and other related issues. He also fielded questions from reporters after his speech, some of whom inquired as to the role of a caretaker government during periods of transition.

Guðni emphasised that the country’s constitution had functioned properly under the circumstances that arose; Katrín Jakobsdóttir requested to be relieved of her duties two days ago, but Guðni asked her to continue in her role since her successor had not yet been found.

“The Constitution held and functioned as it should under circumstances that were certainly unusual. Two days ago, Katrín Jakobsdóttir came to me and requested to be relieved of her duties for herself and her ministry. Then, it was clear that the leaders of the three government parties intended to continue their collaboration,” Guðni stated, adding that it was not yet clear who would become the Prime Minister and hence a caretaker government took over. Similarly, the constitution should ensure flexibility.

Further changes may be desirable

When asked about the number of endorsements a presidential candidate needs to secure, Guðni also noted that changes to the section of the Constitution pertaining to the presidency would be desirable. This number is fixed in the Constitution and has remained unchanged for a long time; 1,500 endorsements are required for eligibility.

A protest was called in response to yesterday’s state council meeting where the new government, led by Bjarni Benediktsson, assumed power. As noted by Vísir, the interactions between the protesters and the police were not entirely peaceful, resulting in three arrests.

This morning, Katrín Jakobsdóttir handed the keys of the Prime Minister’s Office to her successor, Bjarni Benediktsson.

Guðni’s full speech can be viewed here.

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.

Katrín Jakobsdóttir to Campaign for Presidency, Leaving PM Post

Katrín Jakobsdóttir has announced her bid for President of Iceland

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has declared her intention to run for President of Iceland. She plans to request release from her prime ministerial duties to campaign and discuss the nation’s future with its citizens.

Requesting relief from her duties

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has announced her candidacy for the office of the President of Iceland. As noted by Vísir, Katrín said she will request to be released from her duties as Prime Minister on Sunday in order to campaign for the office. She will also resign as the Chairperson of the Left-Green Movement. Over the next few weeks, she plans to travel around the country and speak with citizens about the future.

In a video posted on social media today, Katrín stated the president needed to “understand the workings of politics and society, show leadership and humility, protect Iceland’s interests on the international stage, make difficult decisions independent of momentary popularity, and speak to the entire nation.”

After all, Katrín observed, the president was elected by the nation. Katrín also pointed out that we live in complicated times.

“Conflicts have increased worldwide. We face enormous challenges in climate and environmental issues. The pace of technological development is unprecedented, and it has never been more important to foster and protect humanity.”

In such times, it was important to focus on the basics: education, and culture.

“We need to ensure the Icelandic language, our anchor, while simultaneously guarding the diversity that characterises Icelandic society. In all these issues, the President has a role to play in clearly advocating the fundamental values upon which Icelandic society is built: democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Both at home and internationally.”

Running for a president not a given

In the video, Katrín noted that it was not a given that she, having engaged in politics for twenty years, would run for president. Although the experience would serve her well: “The experience I have in politics, the experience of bringing together different groups, and the understanding I have gained during this time, make me well-suited for this office,” Katrín noted.

Katrín also revealed that she had privately decided some time ago not to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections. She believes, however, that she can continue to be of service to the country and its people, hence her decision to run for president.

This article will be updated.

Iceland News Review: Presidential Elections Special Edition!

In this episode of Iceland News Review, we explore all the latest on who’s running for President of Iceland, including one surprise candidate that might shake up the government. In addition, big changes at Geysir, plus weather, road conditions, and much more!

Iceland News Review brings you all of Iceland’s top stories, every week, with the context and background you need. Be sure to like, follow and subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode!

Snæfellsjökull Glacier Enters Presidential Race

snæfellsjökull glacier iceland

Iceland’s presidential race has a cool new candidate – the glacier Snæfellsjökull. Launched officially on March 15, the campaign emphasises ecology in order to “move towards environmental consciousness and global unity.”

An emblem of Iceland

In a recent press release, the campaign states: “Amidst the conventional political landscape, we believe it’s time to challenge the status quo and elect a candidate that symbolizes endurance, resilience, and global interconnectedness. Snæfellsjökull is already an emblem of Iceland and a custodian of geo-cultural wisdom, representing the very essence of stability and sustainability. With a towering presence and serene demeanor, Snæfellsjökull embodies a balance of steadfastness and adaptability, qualities much needed in today’s rapidly changing world.”

The campaign also stresses the importance of environmental stewardship. By nominating a non-human being to the presidency of Iceland, the campaign hopes to bring greater awareness to sustainability and eco-justice.

Even non-human beings need a kennitala

A kennitala, or civil registration number, is given to all citizens and legal residents of Iceland. In addition to being a minimum 35 years of age (which the glacier well exceeds) and mustering a minimum number of petition endorsements, candidates for the presidency of Iceland are also required to be citizens, and therefore, to have a kennitala.

In a statement on social media, campaign organiser and presidential proxy Angela Marie Snæfellsjökuls Rawlings, stated:

“In early 2024, thirty humans commenced work on a campaign to nominate Snæfellsjökull for the presidency—Snæfellsjökul fyrir forseta. We puzzled through how to work within a digitised administrative system and legislative framework that was not yet purpose-built to support a non-human entity to have a kennitala. Snæfellsjökull fulfilled the requisite age limit (at least 35 years old) and citizenship (Icelandic); the only thing remaining to establish our candidacy and collect enough nomination signatures to get the glacier on the ballot was a kennitala. Could we work with a pre-existing organisation that has a kennitala? Should we form a non-profit to acquire a kennitala for Snæfellsjökull? No, it should be a kennitala of an individual as organisations cannot run for president. And so legal eagles in the campaign team asked if I, as campaign manager, would offer my kennitala as proxy—understanding that I personally do not want to be president. They recommended it would be better if the candidate’s name included Snæfellsjökull so it’s clearly linked to the kennitala in the nomination form.”

Facing up the competition

The presidential race is already a crowded field, and the beloved glacier will face stiff competition, including former Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr, popular professor of political science Baldur Þórhallsson, and possibly even current Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

The Snæfellsjökull campaign has also stressed the importance of inclusivity and diversity, and campaign literature is available in Icelandic, English, Polish, and Spanish.

Read more: How do I become the president of Iceland?

 

Prime Minister’s Silence Fuels Speculation of Presidential Bid

The parliamentary leader of the Independence Party has convened a meeting to discuss the implications of a possible bid by the Prime Minister for President on the coalition government. The list of candidates gathering endorsements for the presidential bid currently numbers 63.

PM’s candidacy would impact coalition

Hildur Sverrisdóttir, the parliamentary leader of the Independence Party, will convene a meeting of the party’s parliamentary group today due to a possible presidential bid by Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir. In an interview with Mbl.is yesterday, Hildur stated that she believed it was more likely than not that Katrín would run for president.

“Yes, I can confirm that we will hold a parliamentary group meeting … even though Parliament is not in session. I feel it’s right to convene a meeting in light of this situation. Although nothing is confirmed yet, I think it’s natural for us to discuss among ourselves what a possible candidacy of the Prime Minister could entail,” Hildur observed.

When asked what impact Katrín’s candidacy would have on the coalition government, Hildur responded thusly: “It’s clear that it would have some impact on our cooperation, although Katrín has yet to confirm her candidacy.”

Like Eiríkur Bergmann, professor of political science at the University of Iceland, Hildur believes that there is a good chance that Katrín will announce her candidacy in the coming days: “Based on the time that has passed, I would personally think it’s more likely than not. But I have no more information on this than anyone else following this development at this point,” Hildur stated.

Eiríkur made a similar observation in a recent conversation with RÚV: “Since the Prime Minister is letting this discussion continue without denying it, we can conclude that she has a significant interest in running and that the chances are now greater rather than lesser that she will make a bid. Otherwise, she would have simply refuted it by now.”

More candidates announce their bids

As of today, 63 individuals are currently gathering endorsements for presidential bids. As noted on IR this morning, former mayor of Reykjavík and comedian Jón Gnarr announced that he would be running for president in a social media post yesterday. Two new candidates have since tossed their hats into the ring: actress Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir and Guðmundur Felix Grétarsson.

Read More: The Right to Bear Arms (On Guðmundur Felix’s Arm Transplant Surgery)

“Not a Job, a Lifestyle” – Jón Gnarr Runs for President

Former mayor and comedian Jón Gnarr runs for president

Jón Gnarr, former Reykjavík mayor and comedian, has announced his candidacy for the Icelandic presidency. He promises to maintain a positive relationship with the government, aiming to improve Iceland’s well-being and international reputation, with enough endorsements already secured to officially run for president.

Not a job, a lifestyle

Former mayor of Reykjavík and comedian Jón Gnarr announced his candidacy for the presidency of Iceland in a video on social media last night. In the video, Jón noted that since the New Year – when President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson announced that he would be stepping down – he had been encouraged to run by “many people.” The same had been true in 2016, although he had not considered it timely back then.

Read More: How Do I Become President of Iceland

Jón characterised the presidency as “not a typical job but a lifestyle.” A president needs to understand the Icelandic national psyche and be able to unite the nation. “Being president is not a regular job but rather a lifestyle that dominates every moment and every day throughout the year. I am quite familiar with this after having been the mayor of Reykjavik during a difficult time in the city’s history.”

Promises a good relationship with the government

Jón also noted that peace and human rights have served as something of a calling in his life. “As mayor, I supported and drew attention to human rights and peace efforts and intend to continue doing so if I am elected president.”

Jón added that he had great respect for Iceland’s parliament and plans to have a good relationship with the government at any given time. “My heart will always be with the people of the country, and my actions will show that.”

As president, he intends to work on the well-being of Iceland and strive to enhance the country’s reputation and respect. “I will be the representative of the nation domestically and its ambassador abroad.”

As noted by RÚV, Heiða Kristín Helgadóttir, who is part of Jón’s campaign team, confirmed that Jón had gathered enough endorsements to run for president. The collection of endorsements began at 8 PM last night when Jón announced his candidacy. About one and a half hours later, he had collected the minimum number of endorsements in each of the country’s voting quarters.