The Icelandic Pirate Party has entered Parliament. This is clear as all the votes have been counted, with the Pirate Party at 5.1% as final result, just above the five-percent barrier to entry.
During the night, the support for the Icelandic Pirate Party briefly fell below the five-percent barrier to entry, making the outcome uncertain and the polls wrong. As of 1000 UTC, with all the votes counted, the Pirate Party’s support is at 5.1% with three seats. Article text has been updated to reflect this.
The Icelandic election campaign for the Alþing, the Icelandic parliament (pictured), had been bulging back and forth in support for the major parties. One thing that looked consistent was that the nascent Icelandic Pirate Party kept growing, polling between 6.5% and 9.0% in recent polls.
As the first MP was announced for the Pirate Party from the Iceland Southwest constituency, where the party initially held a full 8.3% of the votes, the roof lifted at the Pirate victory dinner celebrations in a posh seafood restaurant in the center of Reykjavik.
The Icelanders are something of a phenomenon, even within the quickly-growing Pirate Party movement. The Icelandic Pirates were founded a mere nine months ago, and got seats in the Alþing today – three seats, as per current projections. That is a speed record by any measure.
This makes the Icelandic Pirate Party the first in the movement to enter a national, proportional parliament! Heartfelt congratulations. Achievement unlocked. After this victory, there are no further governmental levels where the movement is not represented.
The Icelandic Pirate Party didn’t start from nothing, though. They were lucky enough to have very seasoned activists bootstrap the party – such as Birgitta Jónsdóttir (of Wikileaks and of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, et al) and Smári McCarthy (similarly involved in IMMI and other projects). We don’t know yet which pirates get the actual seats in the Alþing – that will depend on vote distribution among constituencies and such.
Regardless, there will no doubt be a lot of work to do in the Alþing – even though Iceland has been very progressive with its ideas, fewer of those ideas have been implemented in law. Having legislators in Iceland may facilitate that; there’s a lot of work up ahead.
But not tonight.
Tonight, we party and salute our glasses of rum to our Icelandic brothers and sisters in the movement. Well done!