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Women lose majority in Alþingi after recount

26.09.2021 - 19:08
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 Mynd: RÚV
The recount of votes in Northwest Iceland has revealed a small miscount of votes that has a major impact on the allocation of the nine equalisation seats around the country, and means that Iceland is not the first European country with a female majority in parliament after all. The recount was called because there were so few votes separating the parties vying for the constituency’s one equalisation seat. The miscount and subsequent change then had a knock-on effect on the rest of the country.

Samfylkingin (the Social Democrats) see Jóhann Páll Jóhannsson enter parliament and Rósa Björk Brynjólfsdóttir drop out instead. For Píratar (the Pirates), Gísli Rafn Ólafsson comes in at the expense of Leyna Rún Taha Karim (who was this morning announced as the youngest ever elected MP, and among only a handful of previous MPs of foreign origin). 

Viðreisn (the Reform Party) sees Guðbrandur Einarsson take a seat and Guðmundur Gunnarsson not. For Miðflokkurinn (the Centre Party), Bergþór Ólason comes in at the expense of Karl Gauti Hjaltason, and for Vinstri grænir (the Left Greens), Orri Páll Jóhannsson is elected instead of Hólmfríður Árnadóttir. 

The previously announced 33-30 gender split in favour of women—for the first time in any European national parliament—has now therefore reversed and is 33 men to 30 women.  

The recounted votes in Northwest Iceland are as follows: 
Framsóknarflokkurinn - 4,448  
Viðreisn - 1,063 
Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn - 3,897 
Flokkur fólksins -  1,510  
Sósíalistaflokkur Íslands - 728  
Miðflokkurinn - 1,278  
Frjálslyndi lýðræðisflokkurinn - 73  
Píratar - 1,081  
Samfylkingin - 1,195 
Vinstri grænir - 1,978 

The key difference was that there were only ten votes separating Viðreisn and Píratar in the first count, and Viðreisn was awarded the constituency’s equalisation seat by the narrowest of margins. A recount was declared because of this tiny gap and the enormous difference it could potentially make. 

This shock twist to the election, as well as the workings of the equalisation seat system overall, will be up for discussion with renowned political scientist Ólafur Þ. Harðarson on The Week in Iceland tomorrow. 

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