Icelandic coalition government looked likely to continue after voters gathered around the political center in volatile parliamentary elections
The result could become historic: the new members of parliament were 54% women on Sunday morning, when almost all the votes had been counted. If the number holds, Althing’s Icelandic parliament will have a female majority for the first time.
Polls had suggested a victory for left-wing parties in the unpredictable election, which saw 10 parties competing for the 63 seats in the Althing.
Instead, the center-right Independence Party got the biggest share of the vote, and there were big gains for the centrist Progressive Party.
Prior to the elections, the two parties formed Iceland’s tripartite coalition government, with the Green Left Party led by Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir. His party lost several seats, but beat poll forecasts.
The ruling parties won 37 seats in total, winning two in the last election.
The three parties have not announced whether they will work together for another term, but given the strong support from voters, it seems likely.
Climate change had been high on the electoral agenda in Iceland, a volcanic island nation dotted with glaciers of about 350,000 people in the North Atlantic.
An unusually hot summer by Icelandic standards – with 59 days of temperatures above 20 ° C (68 ° F) – and shrinking glaciers helped boost global warming on the political agenda.
But that doesn’t appear to have translated into increased support for any of the four left-wing parties that campaigned to cut carbon emissions more than Iceland pledged under the ‘Paris Climate Agreement.
Final results are expected later Sunday.