Iceland goes to the polls today

Icelanders are today voting for who they want to represent them in the upcoming constitutional parliament which will change the country’s constitution for the first time in the Republic’s history.

Polling stations opened at 09.00 and will close at 22.00, RUV reports.

522 members of the public are running for the parliament, with the whole country voting as one constituency / voting district. 25 of the 522 candidates will be elected — although that number could increase to 31 in order to correct any gender imbalance.

The ballots will begin to be counted tomorrow morning at the Laugardalsholl arena and it is not yet known how long it will take. A result is expected to come on either Monday or Tuesday.

A last-minute surge in voter numbers has been predicted, after some polls showed only half of voters intended to turn out. Candidates have been increasingly loud in the media, encouraging people to vote for them – and also just to vote at all.

These 25 people will be mandated to change the Icelandic constitution and change the way the whole country works. The higher the voter turn-out, the more legitimacy their work will enjoy and the more likely parliament will be to vote in favour of their changes.

The current constitution is often criticised for being little more than a photocopy of Denmark’s constitution, which was borrowed upon Icelandic independence and then never changed.

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