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The Social Democratic Alliance (Icelandic: Samfylkingin jafnaðarmannaflokkur Íslands, literally The Alliance - Iceland's Social Democratic Party) is a social-democratic political party in Iceland.[1][2][5][6] It was founded in 2000 at the convergence of four centre left political parties (The Social Democratic Party, The People's Alliance, The Women's List, and National Awakening) following a joint run by all parties in the 1999 parliamentary election. The vision of the party was to unite the left wing of Icelandic politics, fractured since the 1930 split of the Social Democratic Party and present a united bloc to oppose the ruling Independence Party.

Social Democratic Alliance

ChairpersonLogi Már Einarsson
Vice-chairpersonHeiða Björg Hilmisdóttir
Chairperson of the boardInga Björk Margrétar Bjarnadóttir
Secretary of the boardÞórarinn Snorri Sigurgeirsson
Chairperson of the parliamentary groupOddný Harðardóttir
Founded5 May 2000
Merger of
HeadquartersHallveigarstígur 1,
101 Reykjavík
Youth wingSocial Democratic Youth
IdeologySocial democracy[1][2]
Political positionCentre-left[3][4]
European affiliationParty of European Socialists (associate)
International affiliationNone
Nordic affiliationSAMAK
The Social Democratic Group
ColoursRed, Orange
Seats in the Althing
7 / 63
Election symbol

In the snap parliamentary election in 2009 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 became the country's first majority left-wing government. The party lost substantial support in the 2013 parliamentary election becoming the third largest in Alþingi and nearly losing all its representatives at the 2016 election where it polled 5.7%.[7] The party then regained support in the 2017 election under the leadership of chairperson Logi Már Einarsson where it again became the third largest party and largest opposition party.

The Social Democratic Alliance is the largest party in the Reykjavík City Council, where it is led by Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson.


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.[8] 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.[9] In February 2013 the official name of the party was changed to "The Alliance – Social Democratic Party of Iceland" (Samfylkingin – Jafnaðarmannaflokkur Íslands).[10]

The current chair of the party is Logi Már Einarsson, who was elected as vice-chairman in June 2016. Oddný Guðbjörg Harðardóttir, was elected as chair of the party to succeed Árni Páll Árnason in June 2016 but resigned after the election results of 2016. The youth wing of the Social Democratic Alliance is Social Democratic Youth.

Electoral resultsEdit

Election Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1999 44,378 26.8
17 / 63
  17   2nd Opposition
2003 56,700 31.0
20 / 63
  3   2nd Opposition
2007 48,743 26.8
18 / 63
  2   2nd Coalition
2009 55,758 29.8
20 / 63
  2   1st Coalition
2013 24,292 12.9
9 / 63
  11   3rd Opposition
2016 10,893 5.7
3 / 63
  6   7th Opposition
2017 23,652 12.1
7 / 63
  4   4th Opposition


Chairman Took office Left office
1   Margrét Frímannsdóttir
1999 2000
2   Össur Skarphéðinsson
2000 2005
3   Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir
2005 2009
4   Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir
2009 2013
5   Árni Páll Árnason
2013 2016
6   Oddný Guðbjörg Harðardóttir
2016 2016
7   Logi Már Einarsson
2016 Present

Parliamentary PartyEdit

Member Since Further information Constituency
Logi Már Einarsson 2016 Party leader Northeast
Albertína Friðbjörg Elíasdóttir 2017 Northeast
Oddný G. Harðardóttir 2009 Chair of the parliamentary party[11] South
Guðjón S. Brjánsson 2016 First Assistant Speaker of the Parliament[11] Northwest
Ágúst Ólafur Ágústsson 2017 Previously a Member of Parliament from 2003-2009. Reykjavik South
Helga Vala Helgadóttir 2017 Reykjavik North
Guðmundur Andri Thorsson 2017 Vice-chair of the parliamentary party[11] Southwest


  1. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "Iceland". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  2. ^ a b Hans Slomp (30 September 2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 680. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b The Reykjavík Grapevine's Election Guide 2013 (scanned version) (Html version
  4. ^ a b Vucheva, Elitsa (28 January 2009). "Iceland's centre-left to form new government". EUobserver. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Social Democrats nearly wiped out in Iceland's election; Nordic Labour Journal". 2016-11-07. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Major political party conferences underway in Iceland | IceNews - Daily News". 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  10. ^ Ísland. "Nafni Samfylkingarinnar breytt | RÚV". Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  11. ^ a b c Alþingi, Þingflokkur Samfylkingarinnar, accessed 9 January 2018.

External linksEdit