January 22, 2009 / 6:07 PM / 9 years ago

Support for crisis-hit Iceland govt plunges-poll

REYKJAVIK, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Support for the government of crisis-hit Iceland has plunged even further and if elections were held now the opposition Left-Green Party would become the biggest party, a new opinion poll showed on Thursday.

Pressure has been growing on Prime Minister Geir Haarde and his Independence Party to hold an early election, but he has resisted calls for a quick vote, saying the government needs to deal with the crisis.

In a poll of 1,749 people by Market and Media Research in Iceland, 75.8 percent of Icelanders said they did not support the government while only 24.5 percent backed it.

Haarde has been widely blamed for mismanaging the crisis and failing to prevent it.

The poll showing was worse than in December, when 65.5 percent said they did not support the government.

Support for Haarde’s Independence Party fell to 24.3 percent from 25.7 percent in December while backing for coalition partner the Social Democrats fell even more to stand at 16.7 percent, compared to 27.1 percent last month.

The poll showed that the opposition Left-Green Party had 28 percent support, though this was down from 30 percent.

Support for the Progressive Party, a coalition partner of Independence in a previous government, rose to 17.2 percent from 4.9 percent in December.

In the last parliamentary election in 2007, Independence won 36.6 percent, the Social Democrats 26.8 percent, the Progressive Party 11.7 percent and the Leftist Greens 14.3 percent.

Independence Party parliamentarian Illugi Gunnarsson told Reuters earlier on Thursday that it was "obvious" early elections would take place, though the party had not yet discussed any specific dates. (Reporting by Omar R. Valdimarsson; Writing by Niklas Pollard; Giles Elgood)



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