Framsóknarflokkurinn (the Progressive Party) is now the second-biggest party in Iceland and the stand-out winner when it comes to gains in parliament. The party took 17.3 percent of the vote and has 13 seats, which is five more than in the last term.
The biggest party remains Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn (the Independence Party) on 24.4 percent of the vote, which means 16 MPs in the next parliament; unchanged from the past four years.
Vinstri grænir (the Left Greens) received 12.6 percent of the national vote and receive eight seats in Alþingi, which is three fewer than at the last election (though only one less than the party had for most of the last term, after two MPs quit).
The three governing parties therefore have 37 seats between them and a large majority. The leaders of the three parties have repeatedly said they will discuss continuing in office if their majority holds.
Of the opposition parties, Flokkur fólksins (the People’s Party) is up to six seats from four at the last election—though in reality the party goes to six seats from two, as it sacked two MPs involved in the infamous ‘Klaustur scandal’ during the last term.
Viðreisn (the Reform Party) is up to five seats from four, Píratar (the Pirates) and Samfylkingin (the Social Democrats) both receive six seats. Miðflokkurinn (the Centre Party) is the final recipient of seats in Alþingi, with a final tally of four, which is three less than four years ago.
Sósíalistaflokkurinn (the Socialist Party), which had registered above the five percent minimum threshold in nearly all polls, eventually failed to secure any seats.
In significant non-party-political news, meanwhile, Alþingi will have more women MPs than men for the first time (see above): 33 female members to 30 male.
What happens next?
Two or more parties now have to negotiate to form a government with more than half of the 63 seats in parliament. The President of Iceland will call a party leader to Bessastaðir and ask them to attempt to form a government. The President usually starts with the leader of the biggest party, but could choose the leader of the party that has made the most gains, as he did with Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Vinstri grænir) four years ago. If that leader fails to secure a deal, the President would then ask another party leader to try.
This period of negotiation can last weeks or even months, but in this instance, it seems likely the existing government will carry on and that the negotiations could therefore be fairly short. Will Katrín Jakobsdóttir continue as prime minister? That remains to be seen, but seems perhaps unlikely.
Though the count is over, there is still plenty that can happen before the dust settles, post-election. It is possible Iceland could see an entirely different government, despite indications to the contrary. Watch this space.
UPDATE: President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson this lunchtime confirmed that the existing government maintains its mandate and will be allowed to form the next government if the three parties can agree a deal. He will not invite any specific party leader to form a new government unless the existing government returns its presidential mandate after failing to strike a deal between the three parties. It therefore looks even more likely that the new government will be made up of the same three parties as the old one.
SECOND UPDATE, SUNDAY EVENING: A recount in Northwest Iceland announced Sunday afternoon led to a reallocation of equalisation seats on Sunday evening. In this reallocation, the gender balance of parliament changed to 33 men and 30 women. See more here.