Left and right still close together in Iceland, Pirates hope to stop the rot

Two months into the new centre-right coalition government in Iceland, there is little distance between the main left and right forces in today’s poll from MMR Market and Media Research.

The ruling Independence Party drops by 1.5 points compared to MMR’s last survey published on 24 February. However the main opposition Left-Green Movement also falls marginally, leaving the two parties essentially in the same neck-and-neck position seen in the previous five MMR polls of 2017. The gaps reported by MMR this year of between roughly one and three per cent contrast hugely with the lead of 13.1 per cent in the popular vote achieved by Independence in last October’s General Election.

Third-placed Piratar, the Pirate Party, recover to 13.7 per cent from MMR’s two previous surveys placing them below 12 per cent. They will hope this is a sign the polling rot has stopped after a disappointing election result and their inability to enter government despite participation in the protracted negotiations.

Coalition can take a heavy toll on junior partners and there are already signs that this may be the case for the Independence-led administration agreed on 10 January. Both the Reform Party (a new offshoot of Independence) and Bright Future (social liberals) hit their lowest levels of public support with MMR in 2017, with 5.5 and 5.0 per cent respectively.

Among the other minor parties, the recently-founded Flokkur Folksins (People’s Party) reaches its best total to date at 3.7 per cent.


Voting intentions, per cent (change on 24 Feb in brackets):

Sjalfstaedisflokkurinn* (Independence Party) 25.4 (-1.5)
Vinstri-Graen (Left Green Movement) 23.5 (-0.4)
Piratar (Pirate Party) 13.7 (+2.1)
Framsoknarflokkurinn (Progressive Party) 11.4 (-0.8)
Samfylkingin (Social Democratic Alliance) 8.8 (+0.8)
Vidreisn* (Reform Party) 5.5 (-0.8)
Bjort framtid* (Bright Future) 5.0 (-0.2)
Others 6.9 (+1.0)

*Denotes governing coalition party.
Fieldwork: 06.03-13.03.2017. Published: 14.03.2017. Participants: 921. Methodology: Online.


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