1996 Icelandic presidential election

Independent (politician) Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
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Icelandic presidential election, 1996

← 1992 29 June 1996 2000 →
  Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, September 2011 (cropped).jpeg
Nominee Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson Pétur Hafstein Guðrún Agnarsdóttir
Party Independent Independent Independent
Popular vote 68,370 48,863 43,578
Percentage 41.38% 29.57% 26.37%

President before election

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

Elected President

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

Presidential elections were held in Iceland on 29 June 1996.[1] The result was a victory for Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who received 41.4% of the vote.[2][3][4]

Prime minister Davíð Oddsson and former foreign minister Jón Baldvín Hannibalsson considered running in the election.[3] Guðrún Pétursdóttir, an academic, ran, but withdrew from the race ten days prior to the election date.[3]

Grímsson was considered a left-wing politician at the time, having been the leader of the left-wing People's Alliance from 1987 to 1995.[3] Agnarsdóttir, a former member of parliament for the Women's Alliance, was considered on the left as well.[3] Pétur Hafstein announced his candidacy shortly after Davíð Oddsson decided not to run. Hafstein was a Supreme Court judge, and was expected to appeal to voters of the conservative Independence Party.[3] Grímsson's campaign was described by political scientist Ólafur Harðarson as "Americanized", as Grímsson emphasized his personal qualities rather than his political background and views.[3]


V • T • E Summary of the 29 June 1996 Icelandic presidential election results
Candidate Party Votes %
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson independent 68,370 41.38
Pétur Hafstein independent 48,863 29.57
Guðrún Agnarsdóttir independent 43,578 26.37
Ástþór Magnússon independent 4,422 2.68
Valid votes 165,233 98.74
Invalid/Blank votes 2,101 1.26
Total 167,334 100.00
Electorate/Turnout 194,705 85.94
Source: Nohlen & Stöver
Last election (1992) — Next election (2000)


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p962 ISBN 9783832956097
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p980
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Hardarson, Ólafur Th. (1997). "Iceland". European Journal of Political Research. 32 (3‐4): 391–398. doi:10.1111/1475-6765.00051. ISSN 0304-4130.
  4. ^ Kristinsson, Gunnar Helgi (1996). "The presidential election in Iceland 1996". Electoral Studies. 15 (4): 533–537. doi:10.1016/s0261-3794(96)80470-7. ISSN 0261-3794.