Social Democratic Alliance

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Social Democratic Alliance
Samfylkingin – jafnaðarflokkur Íslands
ChairpersonKristrún Frostadóttir
Vice-chairpersonGuðmundur Árni Stefánsson
Chairperson of the executive boardGuðmundur Ari Sigurjónsson
SecretaryArna Lára Jónsdóttir
Chairperson of the parliamentary groupLogi Már Einarsson
Founded5 May 2000
Merger ofNational Awakening
People's Alliance
Social Democratic Party
Women's List
HeadquartersSóltún 25 105, Reykjavík
Youth wingSocial Democratic Youth
Political positionCentre-left[3]
European affiliationParty of European Socialists (associate)
Nordic affiliationSAMAK
The Social Democratic Group
Colours  Red
Seats in Parliament
6 / 63
Election symbol

The Social Democratic Alliance (Icelandic: Samfylkingin - jafnaðarflokkur Íslands, lit.'The Alliance – Iceland's Social Democratic Party') is a social-democratic political party in Iceland. The party is positioned on the centre-left of the political spectrum and their leader is Kristrún Frostadóttir.

The Social Democratic Alliance was founded in 2000 after a merger of four centre-left political parties (the National Awakening, the People's Alliance, the Social Democratic Party and the Women's List) following a joint run by all parties in the 1999 Icelandic parliamentary election. The vision of the party was to unite the left-wing of Icelandic politics, which had been fractured since the 1930 split of the Social Democratic Party, and present a united bloc to oppose the ruling Independence Party.

In the snap 2009 Icelandic parliamentary election called in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crisis, the Social Democratic Alliance under the leadership of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir emerged as the largest party and formed a coalition government with the Left-Green Movement, which was the country's first majority left-wing government. She was the country’s first female prime minister and the world’s first openly gay head of government.[4]

The party lost substantial support in the 2013 Icelandic parliamentary election, becoming the third largest in Alþingi and nearly losing all its representatives at the 2016 Icelandic parliamentary election, where it polled 5.7%.[5] In the 2017 Icelandic parliamentary election the party won 7 seats with 12.1% of the vote, but lost one of their seats and got 9.9% of the vote in the 2021 Icelandic parliamentary election.

In 2014 it became the largest party in the Reykjavík City Council,[6] and party member Dagur B. Eggertsson became mayor.[7] From 2018 it has been the second largest party in the City Council after the Independence Party[8] but remains in a majority coalition.[9]


The Social Democratic Alliance was born in the run-up to the 1999 Icelandic parliamentary election as a political alliance of the four left-wing political parties that had existed in Iceland up till then, namely the National Awakening, the People's Alliance, the Social Democratic Party and the Women's List.[10]

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. However, the initial attempt failed as a group of Althing representatives rejected the new party's platform, which was inspired by that of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's centrist New Labour, and broke away before the merger to found the Left-Green Movement, a party based on more traditional democratic socialist values as well as Euroscepticism and green politics. The Icelandic Movement – Living Country merged into the party in March 2009.[11]

In February 2013, the official name of the party was changed to The Alliance – Social Democratic Party of Iceland (Icelandic: Samfylkingin – Jafnaðarmannaflokkur Íslands).[12]

The chair of the party is Kristrún Frostadóttir, who was elected in 2022. Logi Már Einarsson was the chairperson from 2016-2022. Oddný G. Harðardóttir was elected as chair of the party to succeed Árni Páll Árnason in June 2016, but she resigned after the results the 2016 Icelandic parliamentary election. The youth wing of the Social Democratic Alliance is the Social Democratic Youth.

Electoral results[edit]

Election Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1999 44,378 26.8
17 / 63
Steady 17 Steady 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
2016 10,893 5.7
3 / 63
Decrease 6 Decrease 7th Opposition
2017 23,652 12.1
7 / 63
Increase 4 Increase 4th Opposition
2021 19,825 9.9
6 / 63
Decrease 1 Steady 4th Opposition


Chairman Took office Left office
1 Margrét Frímannsdóttir
1999 2000
2 Össur Skarphéðinsson
(born 1953)
2000 2005
3 Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir
(born 1954)
2005 2009
4 Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir
(born 1942)
2009 2013
5 Árni Páll Árnason
(born 1966)
2013 2016
6 Oddný Guðbjörg Harðardóttir
(born 1957)
2016 2016
7 Logi Már Einarsson
(born 1964)
2016 2022
8 Kristrún Frostadóttir
(born 1988)
2022 Present


  1. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "Iceland". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  2. ^ "The Reykjavík Grapevine Issue 4, 2013 by Reykjavík Grapevine - Issuu". 5 April 2013.
  3. ^ The Reykjavík Grapevine's Election Guide 2013 (scanned version) (Html version)
  4. ^ Sigurðardóttir, Jóhanna. "prime minister of Iceland". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Social Democrats nearly wiped out in Iceland's election; Nordic Labour Journal". 7 November 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Lokatölur í Reykjavík: Meirihlutinn fallinn - Vísir". 6 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Dagur B. Eggertsson". 5 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Kosningar 2022 - Úrslit í stærstu sveitarfélögum".
  9. ^ "Nýr meirihluti í borginni kynntur við Breiðholtslaug". 12 June 2018.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Major political party conferences underway in Iceland | IceNews - Daily News". 29 March 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  12. ^ Ísland (3 February 2013). "Nafni Samfylkingarinnar breytt | RÚV". Retrieved 1 August 2014. (in Icelandic)

External links[edit]