April 27's general elections concluded with the defeat of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir’s social-democratic government and the return to power of the centre right. With 26.7 per cent of the vote, Bjarni Benediktsson's Independence Party won 19 of the 63 seats in the country’s parliament, the Alþingi. It was closely followed by the Progressive Party led by Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson (24.43 per cent), which also took 19 seats.

Having scored 12.9 per cent, the Social Democratic Alliance won nine seats, while the Pirate Party (5.1 per cent) obtained three seats, becoming the first ever party of its kind to enter the national parliament.

The Independence Party and the Progressive Party have begun discussions on the formation of a government, which Benediktsson, 43, is expected to lead. However, Gunnlaugsson has also claimed that he should be appointed prime minister, because his party gained more ground in the vote, explains Fréttablaðið.

According to rival daily Morgunblaðið, both parties

are sceptical about the European integration process and the election results could hamper Iceland’s accession to the EU.