Historian Set to Trounce Wall Street Populist in Iceland Presidential Vote

An Oxford-educated historian is set to trounce a former Wall Street broker who has praised Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus and rails against the “fake media” in Iceland’s presidential election.

Most indications are that the incumbent, Gudni Th. Johannesson, will win by a landslide against Gudmundur Franklin Jonsson, his right-wing challenger. A Gallup poll published ahead of Saturday’s election put support for Johannesson at 93.5%.

Historian Set to Trounce Wall Street Populist in Iceland Presidential Vote

While the post is largely symbolic, the president has the power to veto laws and appoint governments.

This will be the first ballot to be held in western European since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Voters will be asked to keep a two-meter distance and will be offered gloves and sanitizers to reduce the risk of infection.

The mild-mannered Johannesson was elected to a first four-year term in 2016. He has championed LGBT rights and can be seen picking up litter around the presidential residence near the capital Reykjavik.

Historian Set to Trounce Wall Street Populist in Iceland Presidential Vote


Jonsson worked as a broker on Wall Street in the 1990s and the early 2000s before turning to hotel management. Past attempts to join the political scene failed, most notably in 2013, when his newly-created political party was unable to garner enough votes to appoint a member of parliament.

During the campaign he has accused Johannesson of being “too passive” and has described Trump as a “true leader” who “looks out for his people.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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