Social Democratic Alliance

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This article is about the Icelandic political party. For other uses, see Social Democratic Alliance (disambiguation).
Social Democratic Alliance
Chairperson Oddný Guðbjörg Harðardóttir
Vice-chairperson Logi Einarsson
Chairperson of the board Heiða Björg Hilmisdóttir
Secretary of the board Óskar Steinn Ómarsson
Chairperson of the parliamentary group Helgi Hjörvar
Founded 5 May 2000
Merger of
Headquarters Hallveigarstígur 1,
101 Reykjavík
Youth wing Social Democratic Youth
Ideology Social democracy,
Political position Centre-left
European affiliation Party of European Socialists (Associate)
International affiliation Socialist International
Nordic affiliation SAMAK
Colours Red, Orange
Seats in the Althing
9 / 63

The Social Democratic Alliance (Icelandic: Samfylkingin-Jafnaðarmannaflokkur Íslands) is a social-democratic[1][2][3] political party in Iceland. It is centre-left in alignment. It became the largest party in the Icelandic parliament after the 2009 Icelandic election, forming a coalition government along with the Left-Green Movement, until returning to opposition status after the 2013 Icelandic election.


The Social Democratic Alliance was born in the run-up to the parliamentary elections of 1999 as an alliance of the four left-wing parties that had existed in Iceland up till then: the Social Democratic Party, the People's Alliance, the Women's List and National Awakening.[4] The parties then formally merged in May 2000 under the name "The Alliance" (Samfylkingin). The merger was a deliberate attempt to unify the entire Icelandic centre-left into one political party capable of countering the centre-right Independence Party. The initial attempt failed however as a group of Alþingi representatives rejected the new party's platform – which was inspired by that of Tony Blair's New Labour – and broke away before the merger to found the Left-Green Movement, based on more traditional democratic socialist values as well as green politics and euroscepticism. The Icelandic Movement – Living Country merged into the party in March 2009.[5] In February 2013 the official name of the party was changed to "The Alliance – Social Democratic Party of Iceland" (Samfylkingin – Jafnaðarmannaflokkur Íslands).[6]

The current chair of the party is Oddný Guðbjörg Harðardóttir, who was elected in June 2016 to succeed Árni Páll Árnason, the outgoing party leader. Logi Einarsson, current member of the local council of Akureyri, has been vice chair since the same date. The youth wing of the Social Democratic Alliance is Social Democratic Youth.

Electoral results[edit]

Election Votes  % Seats +/– Position Government
1999 44,378 26.8
17 / 63
Increase 17 Increase 2nd Opposition
2003 56,700 31.0
20 / 63
Increase 3 Steady 2nd Opposition
2007 48,743 26.8
18 / 63
Decrease 2 Steady 2nd Coalition
2009 55,758 29.8
20 / 63
Increase 2 Increase 1st Coalition
2013 24,292 12.9
9 / 63
Decrease 11 Decrease 3rd Opposition


Chairperson Period
Margrét Frímannsdóttir 1999–2000
Össur Skarphéðinsson 2000–2005
Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir 2005–2009
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir 2009–2013
Árni Páll Árnason 2013–2016
Oddný Guðbjörg Harðardóttir 2016-present

Members of the parliament[edit]

Member Since Title Constituency
Árni Páll Árnason 2007 Member of Parliament Southwest
Helgi Hjörvar 2003 Member of Parliament Reykjavik South
Katrín Júlíusdóttir 2003 Member of Parliament Southwest
Kristján L. Möller 1999 Member of Parliament Northeast
Oddný G. Harðardóttir 2009 Party leader South
Össur Skarphéðinsson Islandi välisminister Össur Skarphéðinsson avamas toiduturgu Islandi väljakul.jpg 1991 Member of Parliament Reykjavik North
Sigríður Ingibjörg Ingadóttir 2009 Member of Parliament Reykjavik South
Valgerður Bjarnadóttir 2009 Member of Parliament Reykjavik North


  1. ^ Hans Slomp (30 September 2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 680. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Claire Annesley (11 January 2013). Political and Economic Dictionary of Western Europe. Routledge. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-135-35547-0. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Åsa Bengtsson; Kasper Hansen; Ólafur Þ Harõarson; Hanne Marthe Narud; Henrik Oscarsson (15 November 2013). The Nordic Voter: Myths of Exceptionalism. ECPR Press. p. 209. ISBN 978-1-907301-50-6. 
  4. ^ Julia Kaute (2 December 2010). Warming up for the EU: Iceland and European Integration: An Analysis of the Factors Contributing to the Changing Perception of Iceland’s Political Elites Toward Membership in the European Union. GRIN Verlag. p. 45. ISBN 978-3-640-76745-8. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Major political party conferences underway in Iceland | IceNews - Daily News". 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  6. ^ Ísland. "Nafni Samfylkingarinnar breytt | RÚV". Retrieved 2014-08-01. 

External links[edit]