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Conservatives and progressives come tied to the polls in Iceland

The party of the so far prime Minister would win the highest percentage of votes followed by the Green Left, which could form government alongside Social Democrats and Pirates

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Conservatives and progressives come tied to the polls in Iceland

247 days. This is what has lasted last government of Iceland, briefest of history of Nordic country of little more than 340,000 inhabitants. Iceland returns this Saturday to vote for second time in a year, in a elections anticipated by scandal of transparency that splashes so far prime Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson. But according to latest polls, party of Benedicktsson (Independence) would take highest percentage of votes (24.1%), followed by movement of Green Left (19.2%) that, although departed as a favorite, has stagnated in projections of last week . A long debate is looming between conservative and progressive blocs because in alliance game all can become executive. On more progressive side; Green Left, Social Democrats and pirates. By conservative flank; Independence, progress and center. The definitive results will be announced during early morning of Sunday.

The Independence Party ruled in coalition with regeneration and bright future for 11 months. Last September, a scandal related to Prime Minister's far made bright future leave government alliance, causing umpteenth political crisis on Nordic island and leading to new elections. But despite seriousness of case, Conservatives of independence remain favorite training for Icelanders. "In end, this is a very conservative society," he told this diary days ago Paul Fontaine, a local journalist who has followed scandal closely. And Independence Party "is party that people vote on when y don't know what to vote," he continues.

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Independence has very strong roots in rural Iceland (50% of population lives in capital, Reykjavik, and or 50% in country) and "with a very solid base that will hardly stop trusting him", according to journalist Fontaine. In fact, if forecasts are met, electorate will punish it in a relative way (it goes from 29% to 24.1%) and can still form an executive with Progress Party (6.2%) — an alliance known, though not very dear, by Icelanders — and new party Center, which would come strongly into Althing (Parliament) with 9.6%. Its leader is former prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, who resigned in 2016 after being spotted in turn dotted by offshore societies scandal known as Panama Papers. The professor of law at University of Reykjavik Elvira Méndez Pinedo recommends not venturing or ignoring surveys. But it augurs "times of change."

Left turn

The Green Left — which was already in executive in hardest years of crisis (2008-2013) — would reach second position with 19.2% of votes in a tremendously fragmented althing. To confirm forecasts of analysts, environmentalists, toger with Social Democratic Party (14.3%) and Pirate Party (9.4%), could form next executive of island, which would have as head of government a young woman: Katrin Jakobsdottir, 41 years.

BJÖRC Eva Erlendsdóttir, secretary general of Green Left movement, seeks a change of ideological direction in country: "We aliaríamos with Social Democrats and probably with pirates," says phone with hoarse voice. It also admits that center Party has "many possibilities" of achieving a good electoral result and supporting Conservative bloc.

The Antisystem formation founded by poetess Birgitta Jónsdóttir would not reach 10% of votes, about five percentage points less than in 2016, when y experienced an unprecedented support in Icelandic society. Last year, Pirates, although y left as favourites, remained in third position with 14.5% of votes and without presence in already since its birth "weak" government, according to political Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson.

The EU is not a priority

One thing is clear and is that, to form an executive, Greens, Social Democrats and pirates coincide in ir position eurosceptic. "Entering [European] Union is not a priority." No one talks about it or claims it, says Erlendsdóttir. 59.8% of Icelanders do not want to be part of club, according to a recent Gallup survey developed for Já Ísland, a pro UE platform.

In this way, Brussels umbrella would be farr and furr away for a country that sits on horseback between Europe and America ( fault that separates both continents literally crosses country). An electorate that is excited by novelty of pirates, but when it comes to depositing vote, he trusts usual matches. In short, a citizenry that finds comfort in its own contradiction, as reflected by British journalist Michael Booth in his book Almost Perfect People (Captain Swing). And you just have to listen Erledsdóttir: "Pirates like us, sometimes y do and sometimes y don't."

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