Iceland’s biggest municipalities vote for change

Iceland-Referendum02The council majorities in Reykjavik, Kopavogur, Hafnarfjordur and Akureyri all fell at yesterday’s local elections – Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir described it as a boundary shift in Icelandic politics.

In Reykjavik the brand new Best Party – headed up by comedians and musicians with no political experience – got 35 percent of the vote and six councillors. The Independence Party received 34 percent of votes and have five councillors, down two. The Social Democrats lost one councillor and now have three from 20 percent of votes. The Left Green Movement received seven percent of votes and get one councillor down from two in the last term. The Progressive Party received three percent of Reykjavik votes and lost their only councillor.

Head of the Best Party Jon Gnarr told RUV that the old parties in City Hall should not fear working with his party – but added that the Best Party will hold talks with other parties to form a majority coalition and part of that deal will be that the Reykjavik mayor comes from the Best Party.

Elsewhere, the twenty year-old Independence and Progressive Party coalition in Kopavogur fell: the Independence Party has four councillors down from five, the Social Democrats held their four representatives, and the Next Best Party, the Left Greens, the Progressives and the Kopavogur Residents’ List each had one councillor elected.

In the northern city of Akureyri, the L List of Akureyri Residents achieved a pure majority with six councillors. The Independence Party lost more than 18 percent of its vote and lost three councillors. The Social Democrats lost 14 percent of votes and two councillors. The City List, the Progressive Party, the Independence Party, the Social Democrats and the Left Greens each have one councillor in the new Akureyri council.

The Social Democrats lost their majority in Hafnarfjordur. The party received 41 percent of votes and lost two councillors. The Independence Party vote was up nine percent to 37 percent and five councillors, up from three. The Left Green movement got 15 percent of votes and continues to have one councillor. The Social Democrats have enjoyed a pure majority in Hafnarfjordur for the last two terms.

In Isafjardarbaer, mentioned yesterday on IceNews, the K List students’ party failed to get a councillor elected and the Progressive Party failed to get a second person elected and the old coalition therefore stands, with the Independence Party and the I List coalition of Liberals, Social Democrats, Left Greens and independents with four councillors each.

Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said that the local elections were an indictment against the four big parties in Iceland – her Social Democrats included – that will affect politics on a national level. She went as far as to describe the elections as the end of four party politics in Iceland.

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