Local government elections were held 26 May 2018. The total number of municipalities was 72, a reduction from 74 in the previous elections. The number of people on the electoral roll was 247,943 of which 167,622 voted in 71 municipalities. The election went uncontested in one municipality. The turnout in the elections was 67.6%, a little higher than in the 2014 elections when participation was 66.5%, which is the lowest voter turnout so far. Participation was higher among women  (68.8%) than men (66.5%).

The turnout varies greatly by municipality. It was highest in Árneshreppur 93.5% but lowest in Reykjanesbær, 57.0%. In Reykjavík the turnout was 67.1%, similar to the country as a whole.

Turnout lowest among 20-24 years old

Turnout was generally lower in the younger age-groups as was the case in local government elections in 2014, presidential elections in 2016 and general elections in 2016 and 2017. The lowest turnout was among persons aged 20-24, less than half of them voted (48.1%) and just over half of 25-29 year olds voted (51.2%). However, turnout among 18-19 year olds was a little higher (53.7%).

The turnout was highest among 65-74 year olds, about 83% decreasing with higher age. This pattern was similar for both women and men but the participation of female voters was higher than male voters up to the age-group 65-69 but lower in older age groups.

Based on results from 39 municipalities.

Participation higher in the smaller municipalities

Participation rates were lowest in municipalities with 10,000-99,999 inhabitants, 60.1%. In municipalities with 10,000-99,999 inhabitants, 42.1% of people aged 18-29 voted compared with 69.9% of those 40 years and older. In municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants, the turnout for 18-29 year olds was 62-67% compared with 82-84% of 40 year olds and older.

Based on results from 39 municipalities.

Participation rates of foreign citizens have decreased

The participation rates of Nordic citizens in the local government elections was 51.4% compared with 15.3% of other foreign citizens and 69.7% of those with Icelandic citizenship in the 39 municipalities covered in the available data. As a comparison the turnout for Nordic citizens was 56.7% in 2014 and 17.0% for other foreign citizens. The participation of 18-29 year olds was only half of the turnout of 40 years and older referring both to the Nordic and other foreign citizens.

Based on results from 39 municipalities.

About the data

According to law, Statistics Iceland collects election reports from the municipalities’ election boards. Data was received from all 72 municipalities on general participation in the elections which is covered here as well as other information relating to the election which Statistics Iceland will publish later.

However, of the 72 municipalities only 39 provided data on participation by age which was also requested by Statistics Iceland. Henceforth, the results presented here on participation by age and citizenship are based on data from 39 municipalities. The coverage of the data was roughly 70% of all individuals on the election register. The return rates of filled in forms by location and size of municipalities suggested a fine representation of different types of municipalities.