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Althingi (Parliament)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Althingi / Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 28 October 2017
Purpose of elections Snap elections in 2017, held only one year after the previous elections, returned another fragmented Parliament. Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson's Independence Party (IP) remained the largest party in the 63-member Parliament, taking 16 seats, down from 21. Its coalition partner, the Reform Party also lost seats, taking four, while its former coalition partner, Bright Future, failed to win parliamentary representation. The Left-Green Movement (LGM), led by Ms. Katrín Jakobsdóttir (LGM), remained the second largest party. Former Prime Minister David Gunnlaugsson returned to parliament under the banner of the Centre Party, instead of the Progressive Party (PP). Fewer women were elected in 2017: 24 women (38.10%), down from 30 (47.62%) in 2016.

After a few weeks of coalition talks with various partners, on 29 November, Ms. Katrín Jakobsdóttir (LGM) announced she would form a coalition government with the IP and the PP. Two LGM members did not support the coalition, meaning it controlled 33 seats in all. On 30 November, the new coalition government under Ms. Jakobsdóttir was sworn in. Mr. Benediktsson became the Finance Minister.

The 2017 snap elections were triggered by the collapse of the coalition government, when Bright Future left the coalition citing a breach of confidence, following a scandal involving the Prime Minister's father. On 18 September, President Gudni Johannesson accepted Prime Minister Benediktsson's request to dissolve Parliament, paving the way for snap elections in October. During the election campaign, the major parties focused on the economy, promising to increase public spending. However, they differed on the method. The LGM, which also campaigned on a platform of restoring trust in government, said it would raise taxes on the wealthy, real estate and the fishing industry, while the IP said it would borrow money from the banking sector to fund infrastructure projects.
Date of previous elections: 29 October 2016

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 27 October 2017

Timing of election: Early elections

Expected date of next elections: October 2021

Number of seats at stake: 63 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 1,244 (689 men, 555 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 44.6%

Number of parties contesting the election: 11

Number of parties winning seats: 8

Alternation of power: Yes

Number of parties in government: 3

Names of parties in government: Left-Green Movement (LGM), Independence Party (IP), the Progressive Party (PP)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 14 December 2017

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Steingrímur J. Sigfússon (Left-Green Movement, LGM)
Voter turnout
Round no 128 October 2017
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
201'777 (81.2%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Independence Party (IP)
Left - Green Movement (LGM)
Progressive Party (PP)
Social Democratic Alliance (SDA)
Centre Party
Pirate Party
People's Party
Reform Party
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Independence Party (IP) 16
Left - Green Movement (LGM) 11
Progressive Party (PP) 8
Social Democratic Alliance (SDA) 7
Centre Party 7
Pirate Party 6
People's Party 4
Reform Party 4
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Parliament (31.10.2017, 03.11.2017, 30.11.2017, 15.12.2017)
Ministry of Justice (08.11.2017)

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