Iceland’s New Government (2021)

Who’s in it?

When Iceland went to the polls last weekend, polls had forecast the ruling coalition would fall short of a majority. The results, however, showed the governing coalition (Left-Green, Independence and Progressive) boosted their overall majority, despite the prime ministerial Left-Green Movement losing ground.

Together, the governing parties took 37 of 63 seats, and President Jóhannesson sees no reason to call for a change of prime minister, or to expect reworked negotiations. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir will likely remain in her job, and her government will remain standing.

What does it mean?

After a recount, it turns out Iceland won’t be become the first European country with over 50 per cent female representation in parliament. Nevertheless, thirty women were elected, up from twenty-four in the 2017 vote. Results before the recount on Sunday had shown thirty women were elected. Which means, though the furore was backtracked, Iceland is still an impressive place for female representation, and remains a bastion of feminism. It keeps its female prime minister, and was ranked the most gender-equal country in the world for the twelfth year running in a World Economic Forum report earlier this year.

The conservative Independence Party did well, and is headed by former prime minister Bjarni Benediktsson (January 2017 – November 2017). He said he was optimistic the three parties could form a coalition and he would not demand that he lead a new government, which pretty much settles it. It’s not so much Iceland’s new government as Iceland’s new power change… with an unfortunate, pre-emptive international press release.

This article is a Fika Online exclusive.

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