Progressive Party (Iceland)

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Progressive Party
Chairperson Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson
Vice-chairperson Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson
Leader of the parliamentary group Þórunn Egilsdóttir
Chairperson of the municipal council Elín Líndal
Founded 16 December 1916
Merger of
Headquarters Hverfisgata 33,
101 Reykjavík
Youth wing Association of Young People in the Progressive Party
Ideology Liberalism[1]
Political position Centre to Centre-right[5]
European affiliation None
International affiliation Liberal International
Colours Green
Seats in the Althing
19 / 63
Politics of Iceland
Political parties
Coat of arms of Iceland.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The Progressive Party (Icelandic: Framsóknarflokkurinn, FSF) is a centre-right liberal[6][7] and agrarian[6][7][8] political party in Iceland. The party has been a member of the Liberal International since 1983.[9] Current chairman of the party is Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who was elected on 18 January 2009 and was Prime Minister of Iceland from 23 May 2013 to 5 April 2016 following the 2013 parliamentary election: His predecessor was Valgerður Sverrisdóttir, who only served as chairman for two months. Her predecessor, Guðni Ágústsson, who, as a vice-chairman became chairman when the previous chairman, Jón Sigurðsson, resigned after the Progressive Party suffered great losses in the 2007 election. Jón's predecessor as party leader was Halldór Ásgrímsson, chairman 1994 to 2006. Halldór served as Prime Minister from 2004 to 2006.


The Progressive Party was founded to represent Iceland's farmer class, which went from being dominant from settlement to the late 19th century to rapidly dwindling in the early 20th century as a result of industrialization and urbanization. Its primary support still comes from the rural areas of Iceland and its policy roots still stem from its origin as an agrarian party, although it has since come to self-identify as a liberal party, though this is disputed outside of the party. It was founded in 1916 as a merger of two agrarian parties,[10] the Farmers' Party (Bændaflokkur) and the Independent Farmers (Óháðir bændur). in 1956 the party almost agreed to an aborted merger with the Social Democratic Party.[11]

Throughout Iceland's history as a self-governing and independent nation, the Progressive Party has most often been the second largest political party in the country. It has often joined government coalitions with either the Independence Party on the centre-right, or with centre-left parties.[12] The party was a coalition partner to the Independence Party during the period 1995 to 2007.

Following the 1971 parliamentary election, the Progressive Party formed a government with the People's Alliance and Union of Liberals and Leftists, with Progressive Party chairman Ólafur Jóhannesson serving as Prime Minister.[13]

The 1974 parliamentary election lead to a coalition government of the Independence Party and Progressive Party led by Geir Hallgrímsson.[13]

The 1978 parliamentary election returned Ólafur Jóhannesson to the role of Prime Minister, leading a coalition containing the Progressive Party, People's Alliance and Social Democratic Party after two months of coalition negotiations.[13]

The snap 1979 parliamentary election caused by the withdrawal of the Social Democrats from government led to a new government being formed in February 1980 by the Independence Party of Prime Minister Gunnar Thoroddsen, Progressive Party and People's Alliance.[13]

The 1983 parliamentary election resulted in Progressive Party leader Steingrímur Hermannsson becoming Prime Minister in coalition with the Independence Party.[13]

The 1987 parliamentary election in May saw a coalition being formed in July of that year led by Thorsteinn Pálsson of the Independence Party, with the Progressive Party and Social Democratic Party as junior partners. However, in September 1988, a new government was formed by the Progressive Party's Steingrímur Hermannsson with the Social Democrats and People's Alliance.[13]

Following the 1991 parliamentary election, the Progressive Party was in opposition, with the government being formed by Independence Party leader Davíð Oddsson.[13]

In the 1995 parliamentary election, Davíð Oddsson remained as Prime Minister, with the Progressive Party returning to government as junior coalition partner to the Independence Party, a coalition which continued after the 1999 election.[13]

In the 2003 parliamentary election, the Progressive Party received 17.2% of the vote and 12 seats in the Althing.[7] On 15 September 2004, Halldór Ásgrímsson of the Progressive Party took over as Prime Minister from Davíð Oddsson.[7] Halldór Ásgrímsson announced his intention to resign on 5 June 2006 following the party's poor results in the 2006 municipal elections. The coalition remained allied with the Independence Party chairman, Geir H. Haarde, as Prime Minister. The Progressive Party leader Jón Sigurðsson was Minister of Industry and Commerce, until a coalition of the Independence Party and the Social Democratic Alliance took over after the elections in 2007.

In the 2007 parliamentary election, the party dropped five seats to hold only seven seats, down from twelve. The coalition only held a one-seat majority in the Althing, and the Independence Party formed a coalition government with the Social Democratic Alliance with the deal being signed on 22 May, returning the Progressive Party to the opposition. When a centre-left minority government was formed in February 2009, in the wake of the 2008–2012 Icelandic financial crisis, the Progressive Party agreed to defend it from a no-confidence vote, but did not form part of the governing coalition.[14]

In January 2009, it decided to change its party line on joining the European Union (EU) from being opposed to being in favour of EU accession, but with very strong caveats.[15][16] In retrospect of how these caveats are likely to be considered, the party has since changed its policy to one of firm opposition to EU membership, leaving the Social Democratic Alliance and Bright Future as the main Icelandic parties in favour of Icelandic EU membership.[17]

In the 2009 parliamentary election, the Progressive Party fared somewhat better, securing 14.8% of the vote, and increasing its number of seats from seven to nine. It remained in opposition, however, with a centre-left coalition of the Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Green Movement continuing to govern with an increased majority.[18]

In the 2013 parliamentary election, the Progressive Party reached second place nationally, winning 24.4% of the vote and 9 seats. Following the election, a centre-right coalition government was formed between the Progressive Party and Independence Party, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson of the Progressive Party appointed as Prime Minister.[19]

Electoral performance

Election Votes  % Seats +/– Position Government
1919 3,115 22.2
7 / 26
Increase 7 Increase 3rd Opposition
1923 8,062 26.6
10 / 28
Increase 3 Increase 2nd Coalition
1927 9,532 29.8
13 / 28
Increase 3 Increase 1st Coalition
1931 13,844 35.9
16 / 28
Increase 3 Steady 1st Majority
1933 8,530 23.9
11 / 28
Decrease 5 Decrease 2nd Coalition
1934 11,377 21.9
9 / 33
Decrease 2 Steady 2nd Coalition
1937 14,556 24.9
12 / 33
Increase 3 Increase 1st Minority
1942 (Jul) 16,033 27.6
14 / 33
Increase 2 Steady 1st Opposition
1942 (Oct) 15,869 26.6
10 / 35
Decrease 4 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1946 15,429 23.1
9 / 35
Decrease 1 Steady 2nd Opposition
1949 17,659 24.5
11 / 35
Increase 2 Steady 2nd Opposition
1953 16,959 21.9
10 / 35
Decrease 1 Steady 2nd Coalition
1956 12,925 15.6
11 / 35
Increase 1 Steady 2nd Coalition
1959 (Jun) 23,061 27.2
13 / 35
Increase 2 Steady 2nd Opposition
1959 (Oct) 21,882 25.7
11 / 40
Decrease 2 Steady 2nd Opposition
1963 25,217 28.2
13 / 40
Increase 2 Steady 2nd Opposition
1967 27,029 28.1
12 / 40
Decrease 1 Steady 2nd Opposition
1971 26,645 25.3
11 / 40
Decrease 1 Steady 2nd Coalition
1974 28,381 24.9
11 / 40
Steady 0 Steady 2nd Coalition
1978 20,656 16.9
8 / 40
Decrease 3 Decrease 4th Coalition
1979 30,861 24.9
11 / 40
Increase 3 Increase 2nd Opposition
1983 24,754 18.5
10 / 40
Decrease 1 Steady 2nd Coalition
1987 28,902 18.9
8 / 42
Decrease 2 Steady 2nd Coalition
1991 29,866 18.9
9 / 42
Increase 1 Steady 2nd Opposition
1995 38,485 23.3
15 / 63
Increase 6 Steady 2nd Coalition
1999 30,415 18.4
12 / 63
Decrease 3 Decrease 3rd Coalition
2003 32,484 17.7
12 / 63
Steady 0 Steady 3rd Coalition
2007 21,350 11.7
7 / 63
Decrease 5 Decrease 4th Opposition
2009 27,699 14.8
9 / 63
Increase 2 Steady 4th Opposition
2013 46,173 24.4
19 / 63
Increase 10 Increase 2nd Coalition


Chairperson Period
Ólafur Briem 1916–1920
Sveinn Ólafsson 1920–1922
Þorleifur Jónsson 1922–1928
Tryggvi Þórhallsson 1928–1932
Ásgeir Ásgeirsson 1932–1933
Sigurður Kristinsson 1933–1934
Jónas Jónsson 1934–1944
Hermann Jónasson 1944–1962
Eysteinn Jónsson 1962–1968
Ólafur Jóhannesson 1968–1979
Steingrímur Hermannsson 1979–1994
Halldór Ásgrímsson 1994–2006
Jón Sigurðsson 2006–2007
Guðni Ágústsson 2007–2008
Valgerður Sverrisdóttir 2008–2009
Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson 2009–present

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1
  2. "Q&A: Iceland parliamentary elections". BBC News. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Centre-right opposition wins election". BBC News. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Svante Ersson; Jan-Erik Lane (1999). Politics and Society in Western Europe. SAGE. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-7619-5862-8. Retrieved 17 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Christina Bergqvist (1999). Christina Bergqvist, ed. Equal Democracies?: Gender and Politics in the Nordic Countries. Nordic Council of Ministers. p. 320. ISBN 978-82-00-12799-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Hans Slomp (2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics [2 volumes]: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 680. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Nick Sitter; Agnes Batory (2008). "Protectionism, Populism or Participation?". In Aleks Szczerbiak; Paul Taggart. Opposing Europe?: The Comparative Party Politics of Euroscepticism: Volume 2: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives. OUP Oxford. pp. 54–55. ISBN 978-0-19-925835-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Eiríkur Bergmann Einarsson (2014). Iceland and the International Financial Crisis: Boom, Bust and Recovery. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-137-33200-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 Europa Publications (2003). A Political Chronology of Europe. Routledge. pp. 116–118. ISBN 978-1-135-35687-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Iceland's Government Discusses Continued Coalition". Iceland Review Online. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-04-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Baldur Thorhallsson (2013). "The Icelandic Crash and its Consequences: A Small State without Economic and Political Shelter". In Anders Wivel; Robert Steinmetz. Small States in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 211. ISBN 978-1-4094-9958-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Progressives support Iceland EU entry IceNews, 17 January 2009
  17. Progressive Party General Meeting: No to EU Iceland Review Online. 9 February 2013. Accessed 14 March 2013
  18. "Iceland's PM: Optimistic after Talks with Left-Greens". Iceland Review Online. Retrieved 2009-04-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "New Government Divvies Up The Ministries". The Reykjavík Grapevine. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links