The political parties Vinstri grænir (the Left Greens), Píratar (the Pirates), Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn (the Independence Party), and Viðreisn (the Reform Party) all called for the South Iceland recount because of the tiny gap between two parties. Just seven votes separated Vinstri grænir and Miðflokkurinn (the Centre Party) in South Iceland, which, as things stand now, meant Birgir Þórarinsson enters Alþingi as a constituency MP for Miðflokkurinn, while Vinstri grænir get no MPs in the region. Both parties are registered as receiving 7.4 percent of the South Iceland vote.
Þórir Haraldsson, chair of the constituency election supervision committee, says members felt it was the right thing to do to recount, as several parties are calling for it. “We felt it was right to do this, even though it is not legally required. And this does not demonstrate any lack of trust in the staff who have worked with great integrity,” Þórir says. Randomised spot checks made yesterday did not reveal any signs of discrepancy in the vote counting.
The recount at Fjölbrautaskóli Suðurlands in Selfoss will start at 19.00 this evening and Þórir says representatives from all standing parties will be invited to a meeting at 18.30. The count will be public, as the law requires, which means everybody is free to follow along in person.
Northwest not out of the woods yet
The recount in the Northwest Iceland constituency yesterday ended with two more votes counted than in the first count. The number of blank ballots went down in the second count, and the number of invalid ballots went up.
The party make-up of Alþingi did not change as a result of the recount, but the identities of the candidates who will take the equalisations seats for the parties changed significantly and meant Iceland (and Europe) does not receive its first female majority parliament after all.
Bergþór Ólason came in as the equalisation MP for Miðflokkurinn in the Northwest, replacing Karl Gauti Hjaltason in the Southwest constituency. Karl Gauti has complained to the police about the recount.
Hólmfríður Árnadóttir dropped out as the Vinstri grænir equalisation MP in the South Iceland constituency and was replaced by Orri Páll Jóhannsson as the party's equalisation MP in Reykjavík South.
Rósa Björk Brynjólfsdóttir is no longer the Samfylkingin equalisation MP in Reykjavík South, with Jóhann Páll Jóhannsson coming in for the party instead in Reykjavík North.
Guðmundur Gunnarsson is no longer the equalisation MP in the Northwest for Viðreisn, and Guðbrandur Einarsson takes his place for South Iceland instead. The party has requested a statement from the election committee in the Northwest constituency on the implementation of the recount, and Guðmundur says that when it is available, a decision will be made on the next steps.
Lenya Rún Taha Karim is no longer the youngest ever elected MP to Alþingi as her Reykjavík North equalisation seat for Píratar instead goes to Gísli Ólafsson in Southwest Iceland. The Píratar leader in Northwest Iceland is also appealing the recount to the Alþingi credentials committee, and may report it to the police as well.
It will eventually fall to Alþingi to approve the outcome of the election. It is worth reiterating that yesterday’s shock recount does not change the allocation of seats to parties in Alþingi, only the identity of the candidates who will take the nine equalisation seats.
It is possible, but at the time unlikely, that the election in Northwest Iceland will be declared invalid and a new election called in that one region.