“In a historical and international light, the most significant news is that women are now first time in majority in the Icelandic parliament, and a first in Europe. This is good news,” President Gudni Johannesson told broadcaster RUV.
“Iceland is yet again leading the way on gender equality!” the UK ambassador to Iceland, Bryony Mathew, said on Twitter. “Fantastic!”
Opinion polls had forecast the governing coalition would fall short of a majority but a surge in support for the center-right Progressive Party, which won five more seats than in 2017, pushed its total count to 37 seats, according to state broadcaster RUV.
The current government, which consists of Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir’s Left-Green Movement, the conservative Independence Party and the Progressive Party, said before the election that they would negotiate continued cooperation if they held their majority.
President Johannesson said he would not hand a mandate to form a new government to any party, but would await coalition talks between the three parties.
The Independence Party again became the biggest in parliament with 16 seats, unchanged from the last election. Party leader and former Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson said he was optimistic that the three parties could form a coalition and he would not demand to lead a new government, RUV reported.
The Left-Green Movement got eight seats, down from 11 in the 2017 election, although two parliamentarians left the party shortly after the last election.