Progressive Party (Iceland)
|Chairperson||Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson|
|Vice-chairperson||Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson|
|Leader of the parliamentary group||Sigrún Magnúsdóttir|
|Chairperson of the municipal council||Elín Líndal|
|Founded||16 December 1916|
|Youth wing||Association of Young People in the Progressive Party|
|International affiliation||Liberal International|
|Seats in the parliament|
|Politics of Iceland
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Progressive Party (Icelandic: Framsóknarflokkurinn) is a liberal and agrarian political party in Iceland. The party is a member of the Liberal International. Current chairman of the party is Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who was elected on 18 January 2009 and is Prime Minister of Iceland since 23 May 2013 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 of Iceland from 2004 to 2006.
The party had been in a government coalition partner to the liberal-conservative Independence Party during the period 1995 to 2007. From 1995 to 2004, it participated in the coalition as the junior partner under the premiership of Independence Party leader Davíð Oddsson, but the two parties agreed after the 2003 legislative elections that Halldór would become Prime Minister in September 2004. He took office on 15 September, but later 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 Alliance took over after the elections in 2007.
Though the Progressive Party was originally founded as an agrarian party and still finds most of its support from farmers and fishermen, it has gradually adopted the position of a liberal party in the political spectrum. It was founded in 1916 as a merger of two agrarian parties, the Farmers' Party (Bændaflokkur) and the Independent Farmers (Óháðir bændur).
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.
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. In retrospect of how these caveats are likely to be considered, the party has now changed its policy to one of firm opposition to EU membership, leaving the Social Democratic Alliance and Bright Future as the main parties in favour of Icelandic EU membership.
In the 2003 parliamentary election, the Progressive Party received 17.2% of the vote and 12 seats in the Althing. On 15 September 2004, Halldór Ásgrímsson of the Progressive Party took over as Prime Minister from Independence Party leader Davíð Oddsson.
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.
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.
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.
7 of its 12 chairmen have been prime ministers of Iceland:
- Tryggvi Þórhallsson PM 1927–1932 cm 1928-1932
- Ásgeir Ásgeirsson PM 1932-1934 cm 1932-1933
- Hermann Jónasson PM 1934-1942 and 1956–1958 cm 1944-1962
- Ólafur Jóhannesson PM 1971-1974 and 1978–1979 cm 1968-1979
- Steingrímur Hermannsson PM 1983-1987 and 1988–1991 cm 1979-1994
- Halldór Ásgrímsson PM 2004–2006 cm 1994-2006
- Jón Sigurðsson cm 2006-2007
- Guðni Ágústsson cm 2007-2008
- Valgerður Sverrisdóttir cm 2008-2009
- Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson PM 2013-present cm 2009–present
In addition to those, Steingrímur Steinþórsson headed a government from 1950 to 1953.
- Nordic agrarian parties
- Contributions to liberal theory
- Liberalism worldwide
- List of liberal parties
- Liberal democracy
- Liberalism and centrism in Iceland
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- Progressives support Iceland EU entry IceNews, 17 January 2009
- Progressive Party General Meeting: No to EU Iceland Review Online. 9 February 2013. Accessed 14 March 2013
- "Iceland’s Government Discusses Continued Coalition". Iceland Review Online. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
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- "New Government Divvies Up The Ministries". The Reykjavík Grapevine. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- Progressive Party official site