Iceland's Pirate Party loses four MPs in new elections

Vote sinks by a third but Pirati can still reach government with its skeleton crew

Still in the hunt to form governing coalition, if it can be bothered Iceland's privacy-friendly Pirate Party has lost four seats at new national elections.

In October 2016 the party topped opinion polls and looked set to become a partner in a governing coalition, but ended up with fifteen per cent of the vote and ten seats, making it the equal-second-largest party in the Alþingi. But the party did not want ministries or to become part of a coalition, seeking only to advance its own polices, so was excluded from government.

The new coalition quickly foundered as senior government figures were named in The Panama Papers as having offshore investments. The resulting corruption scandal saw Iceland return to the polls this past weekend.

This time Piratir, to use the Pirate Party's Icelandic name, fared rather worse: it attracted 9.2 per cent of the vote, entitling it to six members of Parliament. In so doing it went from being the third-largest party to sixth-largest.

The Party may yet play a significant role, as the traditionally-dominant right-leaning Independence Party lost five seats to emerge with only 16, just half of the 32 needed to form government. The next-largest party is the “Left-Green movement”, won 11 seats. Like-minded parties won another fifteen seats, suggesting Piratir could have a place in a left-of-centre coalition if it chooses to participate.

The Party's said nothing about its intentions at the time of writing, or about the marked drop in its vote. ®

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