Independence Party (Iceland)

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Independence Party
Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson
Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson
Secretary General Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir
founding May 25, 1929
Headquarters Reykjavík
Youth organization Young Independents (SUS)
Alignment Liberal conservatism
EU skepticism
Colours) blue
Parliament seats
International connections International Democratic Union (IDU)
European party European Conservatives and Reformists Party (EKR)

The Independence Party ( Icelandic Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn , also translated as Self- Employment Party ) is Iceland's largest party in terms of membership and pursues a liberal - conservative policy. In 2011 she joined the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformers (AECR).


Former party chairman Geir H. Haarde

The party was founded in 1929. Between 1944 and 2009 it was the strongest force in the country with 27 to 40% of the vote, but was neither permanently in government nor ever capable of sole government. The long-time Prime Minister and party leader Davíð Oddsson was replaced in 2006 by Geir Hilmar Haarde , who handed over his office to Bjarni Benediktsson in 2009 .

In the elections in May 2007 , the party received 36.6 percent of the vote (+2.9 percent) and won 25 seats (+3). She then gave up the existing coalition with the Progressive Party in favor of a grand coalition with the Alliance .

In the years of government participation, Iceland was able to record economic growth until 2007. In a statistic of the Wall Street Journal , in which the economic freedom of the countries is assessed, Iceland was able to work its way up to the year 2006 on place 5. After the protests following the financial crisis , Prime Minister Geir Haarde's government resigned. In the new election scheduled for April 2009 , the party suffered heavy losses and slipped to second place. She has been in the opposition ever since.

In the 2013 election , the Independence Party became the strongest force and re-formed a ruling coalition with the Progressive Party. Since this coalition lost its majority in the early parliamentary elections on October 29, 2016 due to the poor result of the Progress Party, but the Independence Party remained the strongest party, its chairman Bjarni Benediktsson was commissioned by the Icelandic President to form a government. His attempt to form a coalition with Viðreisn and Björt framtíð only came about in January 2017 after more than two months, during which the previous government temporarily continued to operate and other parties failed to form a government. The coalition broke up again in September 2017, after Björt framtíð had left it in protest against the behavior of the Independence Party in a political scandal. As a result, there was again an early election , after which the Independence Party remained the strongest force, but had also suffered the greatest loss of seats and could not find any partners for a coalition under its leadership. Since November 30, 2017, she has been a partner in a coalition of the Left-Greens, the Independence Party and the Progress Party led by the Left-Green movement under Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Left-Greens). Bjarni Benediktsson is finance minister in this coalition.

The party is supported by Iceland's most important daily newspaper, Morgunblaðið .

Political positions

The party is seen as a strong supporter of NATO , but is opposed to joining the EU . The party changed its position at the end of March 2009 to the effect that a referendum should first be held on the start of accession talks and, once they have been concluded, a further referendum on the acceptance of the conditions offered by the EU. In 2013, however, the governing coalition made up of the Independence Party and the Progress Party announced that it would withdraw its application to join the EU, which it implemented in 2015 without having held a referendum. This is seen as the motivation for the founding of the EU-friendly Viðreisn party , which the media describes as a split from the independence party.

In economic questions, the party advocates a free market economy. As the economist Milton Friedman visited 1984 Iceland, he impressed the intellectual circles (u. A. Also Davíð Oddsson ) in the Independence Party, which since then for privatization of state enterprises, low taxes, less government spending, liberalization of foreign exchange transfers and capital markets and the elimination of all subsidies greatly puts .

Election results

In the April 2009 elections, the party lost almost 13 percent of the vote and was no longer the strongest force in the Althing . In the elections held in April 2013, however, it was able to partially make up for the losses and again became the strongest force in parliament.

year be right percent +/- Seats +/-
1995 61.183 37.1% −1.7% 25th −1
1999 67,513 40.7% + 3.6% 26th +1
2003 61,701 33.7% −7.0% 22nd −4
2007 66,749 36.6% + 2.9% 25th +3
2009 44,369 23.7% −12.9% 16 −9
2013 50,454 26.7% + 3.0% 19th +3
2016 54,990 29.0% + 2.3% 21st +2
2017 49,543 25.2% −3.8% 16 −5

Web links


  1. Independence Party z. B. in: Jón R. Hjálmarsson: The History of Iceland . Iceland Review, Reykjavík 1994, ISBN 9979-51-093-5 , pp. 165 . Self-employment party z. B. in: Grétar Thor Eythórsson, Detlef Jahn: The political system of Iceland . In: The Political Systems of Western Europe . 4th, updated and revised edition. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-531-16464-9 , pp.  200 .
  2. Vala Hafstað: Independence Party Leader to Form Government ( English ) In: Iceland Review Online . November 2, 2016. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  3. ^ Paul Fontaine: Iceland's New Right-Wing Government To Be Announced Tomorrow ( English ) In: The Reykjavík Grapevine . January 9, 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  4. aev / Reuters: Political scandal: government in Iceland is breaking apart . In: Spiegel Online . September 15, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  5. ^ Paul Fontaine: Elections '17: Independence Party Strongest, Next Gov't Unclear ( English ) In: The Reykjavík Grapevine . October 29, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  6. ^ Geir Finnsson: Five Women, Six Men in New Cabinet ( English ) In: Iceland Review . November 30, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  7. Iceland's Independence Party seeks two votes on EU ( English ) Reuters. March 27, 2009. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  8. ^ Benedikt Jóhannesson: Thousands Protest Government's EU Application Withdrawal ( English ) In: Iceland Review . March 15, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  9. Who is the new kid on the block in Icelandic politics? ( English ) In: Iceland Monitor . September 7, 2016. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  10. Jon Henley: Iceland elections leave ruling center-right party in driving seat ( English ) In: The Guardian . October 30, 2016. Retrieved November 13, 2016.