Progressive Party (Iceland)
|Chairperson||Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson|
|Vice-chairperson||Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir|
|Leader of the parliamentary group||Þórunn Egilsdóttir|
|Chairperson of the municipal council||Elín Líndal|
|Founded||16 December 1916|
|Headquarters||Hverfisgata 33, |
|Youth wing||Association of Young People in the Progressive Party|
|Political position||Centre to centre-right|
|International affiliation||Liberal International|
|Seats in the Althing|
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The Progressive Party (Icelandic: Framsóknarflokkurinn, FSF) is a centre-right, populist and agrarian political party in Iceland. For most of its history, the Progressive Party has governed with the centre-right liberal conservative Independence Party.
Current chairman of the party is Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson who was elected on 2 October 2016. His predecessor was Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who was elected on 18 January 2009 and was Prime Minister of Iceland from 23 May 2013 to 5 April 2016.
The Progressive Party was founded to represent Iceland's farmer class, which went from being dominant from settlement to the late 19th century to rapidly dwindling in the early 20th century as a result of industrialization and urbanization. Its primary support still comes from the rural areas of Iceland and its policy roots still stem from its origin as an agrarian party, although it has since come to self-identify as a liberal party, though this is disputed outside of the party. It was founded in 1916 as a merger of two agrarian parties, the Farmers' Party (Bændaflokkur) and the Independent Farmers (Óháðir bændur). In 1956 the party almost agreed to an aborted merger with the Social Democratic Party.
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. During the period 1927-1990, the Progressive Party held the prime minister post for thirty years and spent more than two-thirds of the time in coalition government.
Following the 1971 parliamentary election, the Progressive Party formed a government with the People's Alliance and Union of Liberals and Leftists, with Progressive Party chairman Ólafur Jóhannesson serving as Prime Minister.
The 1978 parliamentary election returned Ólafur Jóhannesson to the role of Prime Minister, leading a coalition containing the Progressive Party, People's Alliance and Social Democratic Party after two months of coalition negotiations.
The snap 1979 parliamentary election caused by the withdrawal of the Social Democrats from government led to a new government being formed in February 1980 by the Independence Party of Prime Minister Gunnar Thoroddsen, Progressive Party and People's Alliance.
The 1987 parliamentary election in May saw a coalition being formed in July of that year led by Thorsteinn Pálsson of the Independence Party, with the Progressive Party and Social Democratic Party as junior partners. However, in September 1988, a new government was formed by the Progressive Party's Steingrímur Hermannsson with the Social Democrats and People's Alliance.
In the 1995 parliamentary election, Davíð Oddsson remained as Prime Minister, with the Progressive Party returning to government as junior coalition partner to the Independence Party, a coalition which continued after the 1999 election.
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 Davíð Oddsson. Halldór Ásgrímsson 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 Social Democratic Alliance took over after the elections in 2007.
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 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. The party later changed its policy to one of firm opposition to EU membership. In the wake of the 2008–2012 Icelandic financial crisis, the Progressive Party became more populist. According to political scientist Eiríkur Bergmann, "a completely renewed leadership took over the country’s old agrarian party, the Progressive Party (Framsóknarflokkurinn— PP), which was rapidly retuned in a more populist direction; geared against foreign creditors, international institutions and eventually partly towards anti- Muslim rhetoric, which until then had been absent in the country—there is no significant Muslim minority in Iceland. Under the new post-crisis leader- ship, the Progressive Party thus moved closer to populist parties in Europe."
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 19 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. Sigmundur Davíð was ousted as leader of the party shortly after he was implicated in scandal and ethical quandaries in the Panama Papers release.
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Members of Parliament
Since the elections in 2017, the Progressive Party has eight members of parliament.
|Member of Parliament||Since||Title||Constituency|
|Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson||2009||Chairman||South Constituency|
|Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir||2016||Vice-chairperson||Reykjavik Constituency South|
|Þórunn Egilsdóttir||2013||Leader of the Parliamentary Group||Northeast Constituency|
|Ásmundur Einar Daðason||2017||Northwest Constituency|
|Halla Signý Kristjánsdóttir||2017||Northwest Constituency|
|Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir||2013||South Constituency|
|Willum Þór Þórsson||2017||Southwest Constituency|
|Líneik Anna Sævarsdóttir||2017||Northeast Constituency|
|Nº||Chairman||Took office||Left office|
|16||Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson
|17||Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson
- Independence Party (Iceland)
- Nordic agrarian parties
- Liberalism in Europe
- Liberalism worldwide
- List of liberal parties
- Liberalism and centrism in Iceland
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- Progressive Party official site