The Political System
The political system now alive in Iceland formed in the first half of the last century, but a number of developments have taken place in past years. One of Iceland’s largest political party is called the Independence Party, “Sjálfstæðisflokkur”, and normally holds between 24-40% of popular support. It is a right-wing party which emphasizes the freedom of the individual and liberalism. For a long time, three other parties ran with about 10-25% popular support. These were The Icelandic Progressive Party (“Framsóknarflokkurinn”), a centre-party with large support amongst farmers and the rural community, The People’s Alliance (“Alþýðubandalagið”), a socialist party, and The Social Democratic Party (“Alþýðuflokkurinn”).
As well as these party organizations, The Women’s Party (“Kvennalistinn”) also ran for election, between 1983-1999, with the main goal of improving the position of women. In 1999, a coalition was formed made up of an alliance of The Social Democratic Party, The Women’s Party, and part of The People’s Alliance, that joined forces under the name of The Alliance (“Samfylkingin”). In the same year, a new coalition party was created between the left, the Green Left Movement, which focuses on traditionally leftist policies alongside environmental issues.
In the Parliament election 2009 The Alliance got 29,8% of popular support and The Green Left Movement 21,7%, these two parties formed a coalition government after the election. The Independent Party lost 13% of the popular support they got in the election 2007 and got 23,7% of the votes and The Progressive party recieved 14,8% of the votes.
In April 2013 fifteen parties ran for Althingi. The winner of the election was the Progressive party with 24,4% of the votes as well as the Independence party with 26.7%. These two parties formed a coalition government in May 2013. The Alliance only got 12,9% of popular support loosing almost 17% of their previous support and the Green Left Movement also lost a lot of support, only receiving 11% of the votes. Two new parties won a seat in the parliament. Bright Future received 8,3% support and 6 parliamentarians and the Pirate Party got 5.1% of the votes and 3 parliamentarians.
After a large public demonstration in April 2016, the prime minister resigned and election was brought forth half a year. In October 2016 12 parties ran for Althingi. The Independent party got 29% of the votes, The Left Green Movement 15,9% and The Progressive party 11,5% but the Alliance received only 5,7% support. Two newer parties came out strong, The Pirate Party with 14,5% and the Reform Party with 10,5% of the votes, Bright Future got 7,2%. Other parties got less support and no parliamentarian. In the beginning of January 2017 the Independent party, The Reform party and Bright Future formed a coalition government.