Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Politics

Support for ruling right-wing coalition government continues to slip, left makes solid gains

By Staff

  • Historically unpopular The government of chairman of conservative Independence Party Bjarni Benediktsson (center front row) enjoys historically low support. Photo/Anton Brink.

Support for the ruling coalition has dropped to 31.4%, a drop of 3.1% according to the latest public opinion poll. Support for all three coalition parties has dropped, with one, the centrist Bright Future dropping below the 5% threshold needed to get members elected into parliament. 

Austerity and budget cuts criticized
The poll also shows that the two left wing parties, the Left Greens and the Social Democratic Alliance have made solid gains since the October 2016 Election. The two parties now enjoy the support of 33.4% of voters, compared to the 21.6% in October. The support for the two parties has been climbing steadily since January.

Read more: Analysis: Despite a booming economy Icelandic government enjoys just 25% approval rating

The government has come under heavy criticism from the opposition for its refusal to fully fund the health care system, education and infrastructure. The government's budget plan for the coming years envisions continuing austerity and budget cuts to social welfare and education. Polls have shown that the vast majority of voters disapprove of the policies of the government.

Support for centrist Bright Future collapses
The latest poll from the polling firm MMR shows that half of voters support either the conservative Independence Party or the Left Greens, with each party enjoying the support of roughly a quarter of voters. Support for the two parties does not change significantly from the last poll. 25.2% voters say they support the Independence party, a drop of 0.2% from April, while 23.4% support the Left Greens, a drop of 0.1%.

The anti-establishment Pirate Party is Iceland's third largest party, with the support of 12.8% of voters, a drop of 0.9% since April.

The centrist Bright Future, which is a junior member in the three party right wing coalition government, only enjoys the support of 3.2% of voters, a drop of 1.8% since the last poll, and down from 7.2% in the 2016 election. The other coalition member, center-right Restoration has also lost support, registering at 5%, down from 5.5% in March and 10.5% in the October election. 

 

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