It’s official: Iceland’s Pirate Party is now the country’s third largest political party. The polls in Iceland’s General Election closed yesterday, and by 10AM GMT, all votes were counted. The results of which have the potential to radically reshape the country’s political landscape.
While there’s no outright winner, the Pirate Party was able to increase its number of seats in the Althing from three to nine. This was from 27,449 ballots cast, which translates to 14.5 percent of the overall vote.
Support for the Pirate Party has soared in recent months, in the wake of a number of corruption scandals that have ensnared some of the larger establishment parties.
This is remarkable when you consider that the Pirate Party was once considered to be a fringe political movement. Pirate politics itself is barely 10 years old, having been created in 2006 by Swedish entrepreneur and activist Rick Falkvinge.
Iceland’s Pirate Party stood on a platform of transparency, direct democracy, and civil liberties. It supports the decriminalization of drugs, and wants to give Edward Snowden asylum in the country.
The center-right Independence Party gained the most votes – 29 percent of all cast – which translates 21 seats in the Althing. The Left-Green Movement trailed it with 15.9 percent of the vote, which will give it ten seats.
Other parties that scored seats include the Progressive Party, Regeneration, Bright Future, and the Social Democratic Alliance.
Although uncommon in the UK, and unheard of in the United States, coalitions are the norm in Iceland.
With this win, it means that the Pirate Party has a shot of forming a coalition with other parties, and entering government. But what this will look like, and what role the Pirate Party will play in this government remains to be seen.