Who is the new kid on the block in Icelandic politics?
There are currently six political parties with representatives in the Icelandic parliament, Alþingi. Any party obtaining more than 5% of the public vote in general elections gets seats in parliament.
Iceland votes in a new group of MPs on 29 October and opinion polls suggest that the six current parties will be joined by (or one possibly replaced by) a new political party called Viðreisn – translating as ‘regeneration’ in English.
You can find a full overview of the parties currently represented in Alþingi in Iceland Monitor’s Beginners’ Guide to Politics in Iceland.
Latest opinion poll figures suggest that Viðreisn has already garnered 8-9% support since it was officially set up just fifteen weeks ago – putting them clearly in line for a certain number of MPs in the next parliament.
The party styles itself ‘a new, liberal political party in Iceland’ whose aim is “to build a community in which people both can and want to use their skills to the fullest”.
“It is important to ensure stability in economics and to maintain trust in politics and the government’s institutions,” reads the party’s core manifesto, the full version of which can be found here.
Leader of Viðreisn Benedikt Jóhannesson had been a long-time supporter of the centre-right Independence Party (‘Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn’) before splitting off to form Viðreisn.
His move was reportedly in response to the government’s plans to withdraw Iceland’s application to join the European Union (EU) and the public protests which followed.