Katrín Leads Prósent Poll For First Time

ísland forseti

Former Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir leads in a poll by market research company Prósent for the first time, reports Morgunblaðið.

Though this is her first time ranking first in a Prósent poll, the former Prime Minister also led in a recent Gallup poll. Katrín also leads in a recent Maskína poll from May 17.

Katrín leads polls

According to the latest numbers, Katrín leads with 22.1%, followed by Halla Hrund Logadóttir (19.7%), Baldur Þórhallson (18.2%), Halla Tómasdóttir (16.2%), and Jón Gnarr (13.4%).

In total, the top five candidates comprise some 90% of votes in the latest poll.

A turning point?

The latest results, with Katrín now leading in three major polls, may represent a turning point in the presidential race. Previously, Halla Hrund Logadóttir had led for some weeks, though admittedly by a relatively small margin.

In the latest Prósent poll, Katrín leads Halla Hrund by some 2.4 percentage points, and recent polls by Gallup and Maskína show similar results. The recent Gallup and Maskína polls also show the same relative positions for the other candidates.

Readers interested in the 2024 Icelandic presidential race may be interested in our recent interview with the major presidential candidates.








Presidential Reception for New Icelanders

Forsetaembættið. New Icelanders welcomed at presidential residence Bessastaðir

President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and First Lady Eliza Reid hosted a reception yesterday for all those who had received Icelandic citizenship this year. The couple were both present at the event to welcome the group of new Icelanders and congratulate them on their newly-acquired rights and responsibilities as Icelandic citizens. It was the first time such a reception has been held by Iceland’s president.

In his speech to the group, Guðni emphasised the importance of healthy patriotism and defining Icelandic nationality with broad-mindedness, tolerance, diversity, freedom, solidarity, compassion, and empathy. The First Lady echoed his sentiments, while also addressing the challenges of learning the Icelandic language, which takes time.

The idea for the reception came from Eliza, who is an immigrant to Iceland herself. “When I became an Icelandic citizen in 2008 I was notified by a form letter in the mail,” the First Lady wrote on social media. “I thought it was a big deal, a moment to celebrate! But the letter didn’t necessarily indicate that Iceland thought it was a big deal that I was now among their ranks. So it has long been a dream of mine that we would be able to recognize and formally welcome new citizens in some way. It underscores to new Icelanders the importance and responsibility of citizenship, while reminding those of us ‘older’ Icelanders that we too have obligations to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to contribute fully to society and help to make it a richer nation for all of us.”

Guðni is not running for re-election in Iceland’s ongoing presidential race. Eliza stated that while she will not have influence in the matter in future years, she hopes the welcoming tradition continues.

How can I vote in the next Icelandic presidential election?

iceland election

With a presidential election coming up on June 1, it’s a great time to briefly brush up on who can vote in Iceland, where to vote, and how.

Who is eligible to vote?

Icelandic citizens who have reached the age of majority (18) by election day and are legally registered in Iceland are eligible to vote in the presidential elections.

Besides these conditions, there are some special cases to briefly consider.

An Icelandic citizen who has been legally registered in Iceland has voting rights for sixteen years from the time they move domicile from the country. After that period, they must apply to be re-registered to Registers Iceland.

A special consideration also exists for Danish citizens who resided in Iceland prior to its formal independence. So if you are a Danish citizen and were registered as living in Iceland March 6, 1946, or at any time during the last 10 years before that time, you are also eligible to vote for the next Icelandic president.

Read more on the official government website.

Note that these conditions are for parliamentary and presidential elections, in addition to national referendums. Different rules apply for municipal elections, where foreign residents are still eligible to vote if they have been registered to Iceland for three years or more. Slightly different rules also apply to citizens of other Nordic nations.

Where can you vote?

Your polling station will be determined by your residence as stated to Registers Iceland. At their website, you can enter your civil registration number (kennitala) and find where you polling station will be.

Remember that the 2024 presidential elections will take place June 1.

Do I need to bring anything to the polling station?

Yes, Icelandic law does require voters to present identification before voting. This can be in the form of a driver’s license, passport, or civil identity card. Electronic identification is also accepted, so if you have it set up, your phone will be sufficient (though it doesn’t hurt to bring additional identification, just in case).

I will be abroad. Can I still vote?

If you will be travelling or otherwise unable to vote on election day, it is still possible to vote at the district commissioner’s office or at Holtagarðar, if you live in the capital region. Read more here.

If you are an Icelandic citizen registered as living abroad, you will need to contact an Icelandic embassy or consulate. A list of Icelandic embassies and consulates is available here.

I have special circumstances. Can I still vote?

If you are sick and in hospital, in a nursing or residential home, imprisoned, or otherwise unable to make it to a polling station, it is still possible to vote. More information here.

Voting at home is also permitted in cases of illness, disability, or childbirth. Special permission must be applied for no later than two days before elections. Read more.


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!

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