The Pirate Party becomes top political party in Iceland

"The anti-establishment Pirate Party of Iceland has been awarded more funding for the upcoming general election than any of its rival parties as it continues to top nationwide polls.

The anti-establishment party, which calls for a 35-hour working week, direct democracy and total drug decriminalisation, has the lead in eight out of the last ten polls. They look set to form a crucial part of a coalition government in this autumn's general election.

There is a pool of 290 million ISK (£1.6 million) available to fund political campaigning in the run-up to the election, divided based on February poll results. The Pirates were comfortably leading the polls at that time, and should scoop 35% of the funding pot, more than any of their rival parties.

The Pirates do not have a formal leader, but poet and activist Birgitta Jónsdóttir MP is the chair of the Pirate parliamentary group and their de facto spokesperson.

She said: “We did not expect this. We don’t care. Democracy doesn’t revolve around getting loads of money from the government.

"We funded our campaign at a flea market before the last elections and that was fine. We feel we need to be able to pay the salary of our employees. Anything more than that is too much."

tags: pirate_party,third_party,iceland,optimism