Leftists on cusp of power as weary Icelanders go to polls
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION.
Voters in Iceland went to the polls on Saturday (October 28) in the second snap parliamentary election in a year.
Angry over a string of political scandals, Icelanders may usher a long dominant centre-right party out of the exit door, handing power to charismatic centre-left opposition leader Katrín Jakobsdottir of the Left-Green Movement, who has campaigned on a platform of restoring trust in government and leveraging an economic boom to increase public spending.
Opinion polls show her trailing Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson’s pro-business Independence Party by a small margin.
The previous snap election took place late in 2016, after the Panama Papers revelations showed several government figures involved in an offshore tax haven scandal.
The Nordic island of 340,000 people, one of the countries hit hardest by the 2008 global financial crisis, has staged a remarkable economic turnaround spurred by tourism, but scandals, a growing sense of inequality and worries over immigration threaten stability in one of the world’s most homogeneous nations.