Prime Minister of Iceland

Last updated

Prime Minister of Iceland
Forsætisráðherra Íslands
Coat of arms of Iceland.svg
Katrin Jakobsdottir (cropped).jpg
Katrín Jakobsdóttir

since 30 November 2017
Prime Minister's Office
Member of
Seat Reykjavík, Capital Region
NominatorIncumbent's political party and coalition government
Appointer President of Iceland
Term length No Term limit
Serves as long as the incumbent has majority support in the Parliament.
Constituting instrument
Precursor Minister for Iceland
Formation1 February 1904
First holder Jón Magnússon
Salary2,021,825 ISK monthly (2017) [1]
Website ‹See Tfd› (in English) (in Icelandic)
Coat of arms of Iceland.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The Prime Minister of Iceland (Icelandic : Forsætisráðherra Íslands) is Iceland's head of government. The prime minister is appointed formally by the President and exercises executive authority along with the cabinet subject to parliamentary support.

Icelandic language North Germanic language mainly spoken in Iceland

Icelandic is a North Germanic language spoken in Iceland. Along with Faroese, Norn, and Western Norwegian it formerly constituted West Nordic; while Danish, Eastern Norwegian and Swedish constituted East Nordic. Modern Norwegian Bokmål is influenced by both groups, leading the Nordic languages to be divided into mainland Scandinavian languages and Insular Nordic. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages until the Portuguese settlement in the Azores.

The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. "Head of government" is often differentiated from "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.

President of Iceland

The President of Iceland is the Icelandic elected head of state. The incumbent is Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, who is now in his first term as president, elected in 2016.


Constitutional basis

The Prime Minister is appointed by the President under the Constitution of Iceland, Section II Article 17, and chairs the Cabinet of Iceland:

Constitution of Iceland National democratic constitution

The Constitution of Iceland is the supreme law of Iceland. It is composed of 80 articles in seven sections, and within it the leadership arrangement of the country is determined and the human rights of its citizens are preserved. The current constitution was first instituted on June 17, 1944; since then, it has been amended seven times.

Cabinet of Iceland

The Cabinet of Iceland is the collective decision-making body of the government of Iceland, composed of the Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers.

Fundunum stjórnar sá ráðherra, er forseti lýðveldisins hefur kvatt til forsætis, og nefnist hann forsætisráðherra. [2]
The [cabinet] meetings shall be presided over by the Minister called upon by the President of the Republic to do so, who is designated Prime Minister. [3]


The Prime Minister's office is located in Stjórnarráðið, Reykjavik where their secretariat is based and where cabinet meetings are held. [4] The Prime Minister has a summer residence, Þingvallabær in Þingvellir. The Prime Minister also has a Reception House at Tjarnargata, Reykjavik which was the Prime Ministerial residence until 1943. [5]

Þingvellir place in southwestern Iceland

Þingvellir, anglicised as Thingvellir, is a national park in the municipality of Bláskógabyggð in southwestern Iceland, about 40 km northeast of Iceland's capital, Reykjavík. Þingvellir is a site of historical, cultural, and geological significance, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. The park lies in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. To its south lies Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland.

Reykjavík Capital and largest city in Iceland

Reykjavík is the capital and largest city of Iceland. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói bay. Its latitude is 64°08' N, making it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. With a population of around 128,793, it is the heart of Iceland's cultural, economic and governmental activity, and is a popular tourist destination.

List of previous prime ministers

Home Rule (1904–1918)

Political Party:   Home Rule    Independence    Union    Independent

Home Rule Party (Iceland)

The Home Rule Party was a political party in Iceland between 1900 and 1923. Alongside the Independence Party, it was one of two dominant parties in the country in the early 20th century. Its leader was Hannes Hafstein.

Independence Party (Iceland) political party in Iceland

The Independence Party is a liberal-conservative, Eurosceptic political party in Iceland. It is currently the largest party in the Althing, with 16 seats. The chairman of the party is Bjarni Benediktsson. The secretary of the party is Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir.

The Union Party of Iceland was a political party in Iceland. It was founded after the 1911 elections as an alliance between the Home Rule Party under Hannes Hafstein, the moderate part of the Independence Party and some Independents. When the Althing convened in July 1912 the party was formally registered as a parliamentary group comprising 32 of the 40 members and Hannes Hafstein was appointed Minister for Iceland. The purpose of the party was to solve the issue of a union treaty between Iceland and Denmark, which had proven extremely difficult to solve after the Althing refused a draft proposal from the Danish-Icelandic constitutional commission in 1908.

Took officeLeft officeParty
Hannes Hafsteinn.jpg Hannes Þórður Pétursson Hafstein
MP for Eyjafjarðarsýsla
1 February 190431 March 1909 Home Rule Party
Bjorn Jonsson.jpg Björn Jónsson
MP for Barðastrandarsýsla
31 March 190914 March 1911 Independence Party
Kristjan Jonsson.jpg Kristján Jónsson
MP for Borgarfjarðarsýsla
14 March 191124 July 1912 Independent
Hannes Hafsteinn.jpg Hannes Hafstein
MP for Eyjafjarðarsýsla
24 July 191221 July 1914 Union Party
Sigurdur Eggerz.jpg Sigurður Eggerz
MP for West Skaftafellssýsla
21 July 19144 May 1915 Independence Party
EinarArnorsson.jpg Einar Arnórsson
MP for Árnessýsla
4 May 19154 January 1917 Independence Party

Kingdom (1918–1944)

Political Party:   Home Rule    Independence    Conservative    Progressive    Independent

The Conservative Party was a conservative political party in Iceland between 1924 and 1929.

Progressive Party (Iceland) political party in Iceland

The Progressive Party is a centre-right, populist and agrarian political party in Iceland. For most of its history, the Progressive Party has governed with the Independence Party. Since 30 November 2017, the party has been a coalition partner in the Jakobsdóttir government.

An independent or nonpartisan politician is an individual politician not affiliated with any political party. There are numerous reasons why someone may stand for office as an independent.

Term of officePolitical PartyCabinetElection
#Took OfficeLeft OfficeDays
1 Jon Magnusson1.jpg Jón Magnússon
MP for Reykjavík until 1920
not in Parliament from 1920
1 4 January 191725 February 19201888 Home Rule Party HPIPPP Oct. 1916
2 25 February 19207 March 1922 HP–others 1919
2 Sigurdur Eggerz.jpg Sigurður Eggerz
MP without constituency
7 March 192222 March 1924746 Independence Party IP–others
(1) Jon Magnusson1.jpg Jón Magnússon
MP without constituency
3 22 March 192423 June 1926 (died)823 Conservative Party CP
3 Magnús Guðmundsson
MP for Skagafjarðarsýsla
23 June 19268 July 192615 Conservative Party
4 JThorl1927.jpg Jón Þorláksson
MP without constituency
8 July 192628 August 1927416 Conservative Party CP
5 Tryggvi Thorhallson.jpg Tryggvi Þórhallsson
MP for Strandasýsla
28 August 19273 June 19321741 Progressive Party PP 1927
6 Asgeir Asgeirsson.jpg Ásgeir Ásgeirsson
MP for West Ísafjarðarsýsla
3 June 193228 July 1934785 Progressive Party PPIP–Peasants
7 Herman Jonasson.jpg Hermann Jónasson
MP for Strandasýsla
1 28 July 19342 April 19382849 Progressive Party PPSDP 1934
2 2 April 193817 April 1939 PP 1937
3 17 April 193918 November 1941 PPIPSDP
4 18 November 194116 May 1942 PPIPSDP
8 Olafur Thors.jpg Ólafur Tryggvason Thors
MP for Gullbringu and Kjósarsýsla
1 16 May 194216 December 1942214 Independence Party IP Jul.1942
9 Bjorn Thordarson.png Björn Þórðarson
not in Parliament
16 December 194221 October 1944675 Independent

Republic (1944–present)

Political Party:   Independence    Progressive    Social Democratic    Left-Green

Term of officePolitical PartyCabinetElectionPresident of Republic of Iceland
Term of office
Political Party
#Took OfficeLeft OfficeDays
(8) Olafur Thors.jpg Ólafur Tryggvason Thors
MP for Gullbringu and Kjósarsýsla
221 October 19444 February 1947836 Independence Party IPSDPSP 1946 Sveinn Björnsson
Sveinn Bjornsson.jpg

17 June 1944–25 January 1952
10 No image.svg Stefán Jóhann Stefánsson
MP for Eyjafjarðarsýsla
4 February 19476 December 19491036 Social Democratic Party SDPIPSP
(8) Olafur Thors.jpg Ólafur Tryggvason Thors
MP for Gullbringu and Kjósarsýsla
36 December 194914 March 195098 Independence Party IP 1949
11 SteingrimurSteinthorsson.jpg Steingrímur Steinþórsson
MP for Skagafjarðarsýsla
14 March 195011 September 19531277 Progressive Party PPIP
(8) Olafur Thors.jpg Ólafur Tryggvason Thors
MP for Gullbringu and Kjósarsýsla
411 September 195324 July 19561035 Independence Party IPPP 1953 Ásgeir Ásgeirsson
Asgeir Asgeirsson.jpg

1 August 1952–1 August 1968
Social Democratic Party (Iceland)
(7) Herman Jonasson.jpg Hermann Jónasson
MP for Strandasýsla
5 24 July 195623 December 1958894 Progressive Party Alliance
12 Emil Jonsson cropped.jpg Guðmundur Emil Jónsson
MP for Hafnarfjörður
23 December 195820 November 1959332 Social Democratic Party SDP Jun.1959
(8) Olafur Thors.jpg Ólafur Tryggvason Thors
MP for Gullbringu and Kjósarsýsla
5 20 November 19598 September 1961658 Independence Party IPSDP Oct.1959
13 Bjarni Benediktsson 1964 cropped.jpg Bjarni Benediktsson
MP for Reykjavík
8 September 196131 December 1961114 Independence Party IPSDP
(8) Olafur Thors.jpg Ólafur Tryggvason Thors
MP for Gullbringu and Kjósarsýsla
1 January 196214 November 1963682 Independence Party IPSDP
(13) Bjarni Benediktsson 1964 cropped.jpg Bjarni Benediktsson
MP for Reykjavík
14 November 196310 July 1970 (died)2430 Independence Party IPSDP 1963
1967 Kristján Eldjárn
Kristjan Eldjarn (1982).jpg

1 August 1968–1 August 1980
14 No image.svg Jóhann Hafstein
MP for Reykjavík
(Acting: 10 July 1970)
10 October 1970
14 July 1971369 Independence Party IPSDP
15 No image.svg Ólafur Jóhannesson
MP for Northwestern Region
1 14 July 197128 August 19741141 Progressive Party PPPALL 1971
16 No image.svg Geir Hallgrímsson
MP for Reykjavík
28 August 19741 September 19781465 Independence Party IPPP 1974
(15) No image.svg Ólafur Jóhannesson
MP for Northwestern Region
2 1 September 197815 October 1979409 Progressive Party PPPA 1978
17 No image.svg Benedikt Sigurðsson Gröndal
MP for Reykjavík
15 October 19798 February 1980116 Social Democratic Party SDP 1979
18 No image.svg Gunnar Thoroddsen
MP for Reykjavík
8 February 198026 May 19831203 Independence Party
(*Gunnar's faction)
IP*–PPPA Vigdís Finnbogadóttir
Vigdis Finnbogadottir (1985).jpg

1 August 1980–1 August 1996
19 Steingrímur Hermannsson
MP for Westfjords
1 26 May 19838 July 19871504 Progressive Party PPIP 1983
20 No image.svg Þorsteinn Pálsson
(born 1947)
MP for Southern Region
8 July 198728 September 1988448 Independence Party IPPPSDP 1987
(19) Steingrímur Hermannsson
MP for Reykjanes
2 28 September 198810 September 1989944 Progressive Party PPSDPPA
3 10 September 198930 April 1991 PPSDPPACiP
21 Bilden ar tagen vid Nordiska radets session i Oslo, 2003.jpg Davíð Oddsson
(born 1948)
MP for Reykjavík until 2003
MP for Reykjavík North from 2003
1 30 April 199123 April 19954887 Independence Party IPSDP 1991
2 23 April 199528 May 1999 IPPP 1995 Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, September 2011 (cropped).jpeg

1 August 1996–1 August 2016
3 28 May 199923 May 2003 IPPP 1999
4 23 May 200315 September 2004 IPPP 2003
22 Halldor Asgrimsson generalsekreterare Nordiska ministerradet.jpg Halldór Ásgrímsson
MP for Reykjavík North
15 September 200415 June 2006638 Progressive Party PPIP
23 Geir H. Haarde Islands utrikesminister (cropped).png Geir Hilmar Haarde
(born 1951)
MP for Reykjavík South
1 15 June 200624 May 2007962 Independence Party IPPP
2 24 May 20071 February 2009 IPSDA 2007
24 Johanna Sigurdardottir Jan 2011 (cropped).jpg Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir
(born 1942)
MP for Reykjavík North
1 1 February 200910 May 20091572 Social Democratic Alliance SDALGM
2 10 May 200923 May 2013 SDALGM 2009
25 Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson 2016 (cropped resized).jpg Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson
(born 1975)
MP for Northeast Constituency
23 May 20137 April 20161049 Progressive Party PPIP 2013
26 Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson 2016 (cropped).png Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson
(born 1962)
MP for South Constituency
7 April 201611 January 2017280 Progressive Party PPIP Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson
President Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson September 2016.jpg

1 August 2016–
27 Bjarni Benediktsson vid Nordiska Radets session i Stockholm.jpg Bjarni Benediktsson
(born 1970)
MP for Southwest Constituency
11 January 201730 November 2017323 Independence Party IPRPBF 2016
28 Katrin Jakobsdottir (cropped).jpg Katrín Jakobsdóttir
(born 1976)
MP for Reykjavík North
30 November 2017564 Left-Green Movement LGMIPPP 2017

Timeline since 1980

Katrín JakobsdóttirBjarni Benediktsson (born 1970)Sigurður Ingi JóhannssonSigmundur Davíð GunnlaugssonJóhanna SigurðardóttirGeir HaardeHalldór ÁsgrímssonDavíð OddssonSteingrímur HermannssonÞorsteinn PálssonSteingrímur HermannssonGunnar ThoroddsenPrime Minister of Iceland

See also

Related Research Articles

Politics of Iceland

The politics of Iceland take place in the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the President is the head of state, while the Prime Minister of Iceland serves as the head of government in a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the parliament, the Althingi. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Ásgeir Ásgeirsson Icelandic politician, 2nd President of Iceland

Ásgeir Ásgeirsson was the second President of Iceland, from 1952 to 1968. He was a Freemason and served as Grandmaster of the Icelandic Order of Freemasons.

Prime Minister of Albania head of government of the Republic of Albania

The Prime Minister of Albania, officially styled the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, is the head of government of the Republic of Albania and as well the most powerful and influential person in Albanian politics. The Prime Minister holds the executive power of the nation and represents the Council of Ministers and chairs its meetings.

Prime Minister of Greece head of government of the Hellenic Republic and the leader of the Greek cabinet

The Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, colloquially referred to as the Prime Minister of Greece, is the head of government of the Hellenic Republic and the leader of the Greek cabinet. The incumbent prime minister is Alexis Tsipras, who took office on 21 September 2015.

Prime Minister of Denmark position

The Prime Minister of Denmark is the head of government in the Kingdom of Denmark comprising the three constituent countries: Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Before the creation of the modern office, the kingdom did not initially have a head of government separate from its head of state, namely the Monarch, in whom the executive authority was vested. The Constitution of 1849 established a constitutional monarchy by limiting the powers of the Monarch and creating the office of premierminister. The inaugural holder of the office was Adam Wilhelm Moltke.

Prime Minister of the Netherlands chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands

The Prime Minister of the Netherlands is the head of the executive branch of the Government of the Netherlands in his capacity as chair of the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is de facto the head of government of the Netherlands and coordinates its policy with his cabinet. The current Dutch Prime Minister is Mark Rutte, in office since 2010.

Davíð Oddsson Icelandic politician

Davíð Oddsson is an Icelandic politician, and the longest-serving Prime Minister of Iceland, in office from 1991 to 2004. From 2004 to 2005 he served as Foreign Minister. Previously, he was Mayor of Reykjavík from 1982 to 1991, and he chaired the board of governors of the Central Bank of Iceland from 2005 to 2009. The collapse of Iceland's banking system led to vocal demands for his resignation, both from members of the Icelandic public and from the new Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, which resulted in his being replaced as head of the Central Bank in March 2009. In September 2009 he was hired as the editor of Morgunblaðið, one of Iceland's largest newspapers, a decision that caused nationwide controversy and was followed by resignations and widespread terminated subscriptions. He contested the election for President of Iceland on 25 June 2016 but lost to Guðni Jóhannesson.

Gunnar Thoroddsen was the Prime Minister of Iceland from 8 February 1980 to 26 May 1983.

Hannes Hólmsteinn Gissurarson is a professor of political science at the University of Iceland and a frequent commentator on current affairs in the Icelandic media. He is best known as a controversial spokesman for free market policies, and for neoliberalism or classical liberalism.

Geir Haarde Icelandic politician and former head of government

Geir Hilmar Haarde is an Icelandic politician, who served as Prime Minister of Iceland from 15 June 2006 to 1 February 2009 and as President of the Nordic Council in 1995. Haarde was Chairman of the Icelandic Independence Party from 2005 to 2009. Since 23 February 2015 he has served as the Ambassador of Iceland to the United States and several Latin American countries.

Minister for Iceland was a post in the Danish cabinet for Icelandic affairs.

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir 20th and 21st-century Icelandic politician

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is an Icelandic politician and the former Prime Minister of Iceland. She became active in the trade union movement, serving as an officer.

Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Head of government and of the Council of Ministers of Sri Lanka

The Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is the most senior member of parliament in the cabinet of ministers in Sri Lanka which is collectively accountable for their policies and actions to parliament. The President is both head of state and head of government in Sri Lanka. Since 1978, most prime ministers have served as mere deputies to the executive presidency, while at times served as the de facto head of government.

2016 Icelandic parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Iceland on 29 October 2016. They were due to be held on or before 27 April 2017, but following the 2016 Icelandic anti-government protests, the ruling coalition announced that early elections would be held "in autumn".

The 2016 Icelandic anti-government protests were a series of protests against the Icelandic government following the release of the Panama Papers.

2017 Icelandic parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Iceland on 28 October 2017. On 15 September 2017, the three-party coalition government collapsed after the departure of Bright Future over a scandal involving Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson's father writing a letter recommending a convicted paedophile have his "honour restored". Bjarni subsequently called for a snap election, which was officially scheduled for 28 October 2017 following the dissolution of the Althing.


  1. "2016.3.001 Alþingismenn, ráðherrar og forseti Íslands" [2016.3.001 Parliamentarians, Ministers and President of Iceland](PDF). Kjararáð (in Icelandic). p. 7.
  2. Constitution of Iceland (Icelandic version)
  3. Constitution of Iceland (English version)
  4. "The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in Iceland". Prime Minister's Office. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  5. "Minister's Residence". Prime Minister's Office. Retrieved 28 October 2015.