I follow elections around Europe. At the end of October, the Isle of Iceland had their parliamentary election.
There are 63 seats in the parliament, and once you cross the five-percent point as a party....you get a chance at a percentage of seats. If you don't have 51-percent of the seats....then you as the leading party must form a coalition. Maybe it takes two parties....maybe three....maybe four.
This election in late October has been probably one of the more odd elections in European history. The top party to get votes got their period to form a government, and failed. The second-place party? They also had a chance to form a government and failed. The Pirate Party, in third place was given a chance to form a government, and yesterday....failed.
There will be a day or two to discuss this but the odds are heavily favored that another election will occur by the end of February.
How does something like this occur?
In this case, seven parties got five-percent or more....which is a fairly high percentage if you think about it. In addition, five other parties were in the election but failed on the five-percent deal. In fact, the Humanist Party (anti-capitalist and about as far left as you can get)....took 33 votes of the 195,000 (almost eight percent of the nation voted, which is kinda high).
The seven parties?
- The Independence Party (center-right)
- The Green Party
- The Pirate Party
- The Progressive Party (mostly centered on farmers and their agenda)
- The Reform Party (basically a pro-EU group, with a Green agenda, with a differing medical coverage plan which is half-nation coverage and half-co-pay)
- The Bright Future Party (left of center)
- The Social Democrats Party (left of center).
When you analyze the numbers....what you have is one single party that got around 29-percent of the vote. After that....the second place winner took 16-percent. The third-place winner took 14.5-percent of the vote. The four remaining parties took five to eleven percent.
It's hard to assemble a coalition in this type of situation. For the Independence Party....they would need at least two partners.....maybe even four partners. When you look at mostly a right-of-center theme.....they have no real chance.
When you look at the Green Party....they would need four partners.
As the Pirate Party gave up.....they needed four partners and weren't going to get it.
So what happens in the second election? Anyone's guess. Maybe the same results. Maybe two parties might see a reason to merge in the next two weeks and combine their votes for 20-percent opportunity in this next election.
This is the problem with a multi-party situation. Once you say a coalition has to be formed, and the top party doesn't get 35 to 45 percent of the vote....it starts to invent not just one partner, but maybe two or three. Then it gets harder to agree on cabinet posts....legislation....and boundaries for the parties to co-exist.