Photographer: HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP via Getty Images

These Are the Parties Contesting Iceland’s Parliamentary Elections

Iceland is a multi-party democracy based on proportional representation. That means governments are more often than not supported by a coalition -- the last time a single party ruled the north Atlantic island was more than a quarter of a century ago.

To govern, any party or alliance of parties must secure more than half of the 63 seats available in the Althing, one of the world’s oldest parliaments -- its origins can be traced back to 930. Mandates last 4 years.

While there are more than a dozen parties vying in the elections, opinion polls suggest about half of them will overcome the 5 percent threshold needed to gain representation in parliament as a result of the Oct. 29 vote.

Here’s a brief outline of the biggest parties’ leaders, policy priorities and number of seats won in 2013:

Bjarni Benediktsson, Iceland's minister of finance, speaks at the Parliament in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Thursday, April 7, 2016. The center-right coalition late on Wednesday named Agriculture Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, 53, as the premier, taking over from Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson who stepped down on Tuesday after leaks from a Panamanian law firm revealed that he and his wife had investments in offshore accounts. Photographer: Arnaldur Halldorsson/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Bjarni Benediktsson

Independence Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson.

Photographer: Arnaldur Halldorsson /Bloomberg

Independence Party

  • Seats: 19
  • Origin: formed in 1929 to advocate independence from Denmark
  • Leader: Bjarni Benediktsson (incumbent finance minister)
  • Ideology: conservative/centrist
  • Campaign priorities: reduction of national debt, full removal of capital control, boost growth by cutting red tape
  • EU membership: opposed
Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, Iceland's incoming prime minister, speaks at the Parliament in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Thursday, April 7, 2016. The center-right coalition late on Wednesday named Agriculture Minister Johannsson, 53, as the premier, taking over from Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson who stepped down on Tuesday after leaks from a Panamanian law firm revealed that he and his wife had investments in offshore accounts. Photographer: Arnaldur Halldorsson/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson

Progressive Party leader Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson.

Photographer: Arnaldur Halldorsson/Bloomberg

Progressive Party

  • Seats: 19
  • Origin: founded in 1916 as a result of the merger of two farmers’ parties
  • Leader: Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson (incumbent prime minister)
  • Ideology: conservative/centrist
  • Campaign priorities: cut middle class taxes, raise pensions, fund infrastructure through new tourism tax; extend paternity/maternity leave to 12 months
  • EU membership: opposed

Social Democratic Alliance

  • Seats: 9
  • Origin: founded in 2000 from merger of four left-wing parties
  • Leader: Oddny Hardardottir (former finance minister)
  • Ideology: social-democratic
  • Campaign priorities: more funding for health care, new constitution, fishing quota reform
  • EU membership: in favor

Left Green Movement

  • Seats: 7
  • Origin: founded in 1999 by opponents of merger that led to Social Democratic Alliance
  • Leader: Katrin Jakobsdottir (former minister of education, science and culture)
  • Ideology: left-wing/environmentalism/feminism/pacifism
  • Campaign priorities: gender equality, opposition to international free trade agreements and NATO membership, boost development aid
  • EU membership: opposed

A Bright Future

  • Seats: 6
  • Origin: founded in 2012 by Progressive Party and Social Democratic Alliance defectors
  • Leader: Ottarr Proppe (musician, actor, former city councilor)
  • Ideology: social liberalism/centrist
  • Campaign priorities: new constitution, euro membership, sustainability tax on exploitation of natural resources
  • EU membership: in favor

Pirate Party

  • Seats: 3
  • Origin: founded in 2012 by Internet activists to promote free speech and less stringent copyright laws
  • Leader: no formal leader -- Smari McCarthy, Birgitta Jonsdottir and Einar Brynjolfsson act as spokespeople
  • Ideology: direct democracy
  • Campaign priorities: new constitution, crackdown on corruption, fishing quota reform
  • EU membership: neutral -- stance should be decided via referendum

Revival (Vidreisn)

  • Seats: - 
  • Origin: founded in May 2016 following Independence Party split over EU and trade policies
  • Leader: Benedikt Johannesson (CEO of publishing company Heimur)
  • Ideology: free market
  • Campaign priorities: equal education for all, opposing special interests, higher taxes on use of natural resources, fixed exchange rate
  • EU membership: in favor
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