UPDATE: 6:30 a.m. EDT — All votes from Saturday’s parliamentary election in Iceland have been counted and the Nordic country does not have any clear winner. The current ruling coalition of the Independence Party and the Progressive Party has 40.5 percent of the votes which add up to 29 seats, shy of majority in the 63-seat Alþingi.
The anti-establishment Pirate Party, widely touted by pre-election polls to win about 20 percent of the vote, finally came in third place with 14.5 percent vote, exactly half the number of Independence Party and behind its own ally Left-Green Movement, which won 15.9 percent of the vote. Along with the other two left-wing opposition parties — Bright Future and Social Democratic Alliance — the Pirate coalition gathered 43.3 percent of the total vote, which translated to 27 seats.
The only other party to win any seats, Regeneration, has seven seats and will likely play a significant role in the coalition negotiations that will certainly follow in the coming days.
Just over 79 percent of the country’s 246,515 registered voters participated in the election.
UPDATE: 5:30 a.m. EDT — According to the latest data from Iceland’s parliamentary election, the anti-establishment Pirate Party has jumped from three seats to 10, but that is still not enough to enable to form the government with its coalition partners, who together are projected to win 27 seats in the 63-seat Alþingi. The ruling coalition is also projected to fall short of majority, with 29 seats.
The Pirate Party is the biggest gainer from the election, but is matched by the unallied Regeneration party which has also gained seven seats, up from zero in the last election. The biggest loser is the Progressive Party, part of the ruling coalition, whose former leader and former Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson was forced to step down in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal. Regeneration will likely play a significant role in the negotiations that are certain to follow in the coming days.
A total of 195,204 votes had been counted, and 5,574 had been declared void, at 5:05 a.m. EDT, from a total of 246,516 registered voters. It wasn't known how many of those registered had exercised their franchise.
UPDATE: 4:30 a.m. EDT — It looks like the vote count in Iceland’s parliamentary election, held Saturday, is over, and no one party or coalition has secured a majority, opening the door for negotiations in the coming days.
According to estimates, about two-thirds of the country’s 246,516 registered voters had exercised their franchise, making it the worst voter-turnout in Iceland’s history, but with 190,762 votes already counted, that estimate was clearly wrong.
According to available data, last updated at about 3:20 a.m. EDT, the current government — a coalition of right and center-right parties, the Independence Party and the Progressive Party — will lose its majority in the parliament. With 40.4 percent of the vote, it is projected to win 29 seats, down from its current 38 and three short of majority in the 63-seat Alþingi.
The opposition, in particular the anti-establishment Pirate Party, has done quite well, but not enough to form the government, as was being predicted by many pre-election polls. The Pirate Party has likely increased its seat count from three to nine. Along with its allies — left parties, the Left-Green Movement, Bright Future and Social Democratic Alliance — it has 43.4 percent of the vote share but only 27 seats.
Of the remaining six parties in the fray, only one — Regeneration — won any seats. Fifth overall, it has 10.5 percent of the vote and seven seats, likely making it a crucial player in any coalition that is formed in the next government of the Nordic country.
UPDATE: 3:20 a.m. EDT — Uncertainty is set to rule in Iceland based on about 191,000 votes that have been counted in the country’s parliamentary elections that were held Saturday. With a total registered base of 246,516 voters, about 80 percent votes have been counted, assuming all those registered exercised their franchise.
The ruling coalition of the Independence Party and the Progressive Party is projected to win 29 seats, shy of the majority needed in the 63-seat parliament, while the opposition coalition — made up of the anti-establishment Pirate Party and left-wing parties, Left-Green Movement, Bright Future and Social Democratic Alliance — is expected to win 27 seats.
The unallied Regeneration party, expected to win seven seats, is likely to play a crucial role, with both coalition blocs having previously ruled out working together. With its support, either bloc could form the government.
UPDATE: 3:05 a.m. EDT — With 151,360 votes counted from among a total registered voter-base of 246,516, the current government coalition is still on track to win 29 seats, short of majority in the 63-seat parliament, Alþingi.
The Pirate Party, which pre-election polls were widely predicting would win a large vote share, and its future coalition partners, meanwhile, are now projected to win 28 seats, one more compared to half an hour ago.
Iceland’s anti-establishment Pirate Party has made gains in the country’s parliamentary elections, held Saturday, but unlike the suggestion from many polls, it doesn’t seem to be in a position to form the government. The ruling coalition also looks like it will lose its parliamentary majority, causing uncertainty over the next government formation in the Nordic country.
With a total population of about 330,000, of which 246,516 people were registered to vote in Saturday’s election, Iceland is one of the strongest democracies in the world. This year’s turnout of 65 percent is said to be the worst in the country’s history.
At about 2:30 a.m. EDT Sunday, about 146,900 votes had been counted and the Pirate Party, with about 14.5 percent of the vote, was projected to win nine of the parliament’s 63 seats. It currently has only three seats in the Icelandic parliament, called Alþingi.
The party, led by Birgitta Jónsdóttir who formerly worked with WikiLeaks, is expected to partner with three left-wing parties — the Left-Green Movement, Bright Future, and Social Democratic Alliance — to form a coalition government. Polls had suggested that the Pirate Party could win up to 20 percent of the vote, and the coalition together could be just shy of the majority needed to form a government.
The current count gives the coalition 27 seats, with the biggest share of 11 seats coming from the Left-Green Movement. If the coalition can find another partner to make a government, the dynamics may not allow Jónsdóttir to become the country’s next leader.
On the agenda of the Pirate Party is increased political transparency, something it plans to do through direct democracy, or by getting all Icelanders to vote on all issues and then doing whatever the majority decides. It is also an advocate for citizens’ data protection and less restrictions on the internet. The party has also expressed its desire to grant citizenship to Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower who is currently in exile in Russia, while he is wanted by the U.S. on charges of stealing classified information.
The ruling government, a coalition of right and center-right parties — Independence Party and Progressive Party — is currently projected to win 29 seats, also short of majority. The Independence Party is likely to make gains, while the Progressive Party looks like it will lost 11 of its former 19 seats.
The Independence Party is led by Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson who is credited with turning around the country’s economy. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, who stepped down due to his involvement in the Panama Papers scandal — prompting the untimely election in the country — was the former leader of the Progressive Party.
The current government may decide to enter a coalition with the Regeneration party, whose seven seats may allow them to form a government again.
Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, also wanted by the U.S. on copyright infringement and money laundering charges, predicted the Pirate Party would win. He may have to wait a bit before citizen-hackers come to power anywhere.