Ruling coalition retains majority after Icelandic elections

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Iceland’s ruling coalition retained its majority in the country’s parliamentary elections, despite Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir’s party suffering losses.

But the balance of power among the alliance partners shifted quite significantly. Jakobsdottir’s Left-Green Movement lost three seats, while the smaller of her two coalition partners, the agrarian Progressive Party, gained five.

The third party in the coalition, the conservative Independence Party of Finance of former premier Bjarni Benediktsson, remains the strongest force.
Iceland’s 63-seat parliament is one of the oldest in the world. Thirty-two seats are required for a majority.

Jakobsdottir’s unusual coalition across the political centre came to about 37 seats after a preliminary count of all votes early on Sunday.

The coalition’s majority remains stable, but it is unclear whether the three parties will continue to govern together.

Jakobsdottir has governed the island of some 360,000 people for four years and entered into the coalition after the last parliamentary elections in 2017.

Before 2017, Iceland had to deal with several political scandals. Jakobsdottir brought stability and also coped very well with the coronavirus crisis compared to the rest of Europe.

However, some people resented the fact that the Left-Greens had entered into a coalition with parties much further to the right.

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