Athugið þessi frétt er meira en 1 mánaða gömul.

Today is election day

25.09.2021 - 11:37
Mynd: Bragi Valgeirsson / RÚV
Polling stations across Iceland opened at 09.00 this morning and most will stay open until 22.00 tonight. RÚV English election night coverage will follow.

If you are an Icelandic citizen and are not sure where to vote today, click here. A small boundary change occurred before this election which sees some residents of Grafarholt change from Reykjavík North to Reykjavík South. The other constituencies are: South Iceland, Southwest Iceland, Northwest Iceland, Northeast Iceland; six in total. There are 23 polling stations in the two Reykjavík constituencies, which is five more than at the last election. Voters in COVID-19 quarantine or isolation are not allowed to visit polling stations, but there is information on how they can vote, here

Counting of votes will begin as soon as the polling stations close and the first figures are expected shortly afterwards. A record number of people have already voted in early voting, which will likely slow down the count somewhat, as early votes are counted last and are checked off against the register of who voted in person today.  If someone who voted early decides to vote today, on polling day, their vote today will count and their early vote will simply be thrown away. With some 50,000 early votes cast, this verification process will take some time. 

One voter turned up at the start of voting this morning, at 09.00, at Breiðagerðisskóli school on a vintage Farmal Cub tractor, decorated with Icelandic flags, and equipped with its snow plough attachment—presumably just in case the calm autumn weather were to suddenly change. As the video above shows, the weather in the capital region is good today, but the snow plough looks pretty good too. The poll clerk opens the day's polling by announcing "Voting has begun at Breiðagerðisskóli. Voting has begun at Breiðagerðisskóli."

Maybe unfair, but exciting 

The distribution of equalisation seats after elections serves to increase election night excitement, but also exposes a flaw in the electoral system, political sciences professor Ólafur Þ. Harðarson told RÚV news last night. 

There are nine equalisation seats that are allocated to parties to make the final make-up of the 63-seat Alþingi more closely resemble the result of voting. According to Ólafur, however, the system does not work as intended anymore because there are more parties than there used to be. To serve their purpose again, there would need to be a lot more than nine equalisation seats—or the system scrapped altogether, he has said in past interviews. 

Ólafur says the latest MMR, Maskína, and Gallup polls all tell a similar story, but that Gallup’s seat predictions stand out: “What pokes you in the eye a bit is that Gallup give the government 35 MPs. Maskína gives them 32 and according to the MMR poll they would also have 32. If we analyse the Gallup poll today, they have 35 MPs in government because Framskóknarflokkurinn (the Progressive Party) and Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn (the Independence Party) get one extra person than they should if everything was equal.” 

The RÚV English election page will be regularly updated with news and interviews from around 22.00 this evening.