Iceland’s Pirate Party Continue To Dominate In Polls May Have Role In Coalition Government

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Anger at traditional politics and politicians in Iceland may have catapulted the anti-establishment Pirate Party in to power as they continue to top the nations polls.

The Pirate Party, who’ve campaigned for a 35-hour working week, total drug decriminalisation and a more direct form of democracy, have taken the lead in eight out of the country’s last ten polls.

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This makes it likely that they’ll form a vital part of any coalition government at Iceland’s general election in autumn, The Indpendent reports.

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The party should also get 35 per cent of a funding pot, a pool of 290 million ISK (£1.6 million) available to political parties to fund their campaigns in the run-up to the election, more than any of their rival parties due to their support base.

Poet and activist Birgitta Jónsdóttir MP, the informal leader of the Pirates and the chair of the Pirate parliamentary group has spoken out over their success.

Praha PiCe Bigitta Jónsdóttir II 640x426 Icelands Pirate Party Continue To Dominate In Polls May Have Role In Coalition GovernmentBirgitta Jónsdóttir MP - Wikimedia

She said:

We did not expect this. We don’t care. Democracy doesn’t revolve around getting loads of money from the government.

We funded our campaign at a flea market before the last elections and that was fine. We feel we need to be able to pay the salary of our employees. Anything more than that is too much.

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Last month Iceland’s former Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson was ousted from power following the Panama Papers leak which revealed he was involved with an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands.

Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson cropped 512x426 Icelands Pirate Party Continue To Dominate In Polls May Have Role In Coalition GovernmentSigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson - wikimedia

The company, Wintris Inc, owned bonds in three of Iceland’s major banks which collapsed during the great recession, and his involvement in the company caused outrage with tens of thousands people taking to the streets of downtown Rejkavik in protest.

Following the leak The Pirate Party were polling up to 43 per cent while support for Gunnlaugsson’s Progressives, the dominant party in the current coalition, plummeted to single digits.

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In fact in the most recent poll the Progressives managed to poll just 6.5%.

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That same poll placed the Pirates almost level with the centre-right Independence Party, at 30.3 per cent and 31.1 per cent respectively.

It’s believed that if the election were to be held tomorrow, there would most likely be an alliance between the  Independence Party and the Pirates or the Pirates and the Left-Greens.

Go grassroots politics!


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The Independent

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