Greenland voted to renew it’s 31-seat Landsting yesterday, an early election following a 2008 referendum on self-government, which is due to come into effect very soon. The election opposed the social democratic Siumut (Forward), which has ruled Greenland since home rule in 1979 and the separatist socialist Inuit Ataqatigiit (Inuit Community). Other parties include the anti-independence social liberal Demokraatit (Democrats), based in the ethnic Danish community, and Atassut (Solidarity), an anti-independence conservative-liberal party and the local partner of the ruling Danish Venstre (Liberals).
Inuit Ataqatigiit 43.7% (+19.3%) winning 14 seats (+7)
Siumut 26.5% (-3.9%) winning 9 seats (-1)
Democrats 12.7% (-9.9%) winning 4 seats (-3)
Atassut 10.9% (-9.0%) winning 3 seats (-3)
Independents 3.8% (-0.2%) winning 1 seat (±0)
Red for IA, green for Siumut and purple for the Democrats.
This is an historic defeat for Greenland’s Siumut, which was the island’s natural governing party since home-rule in 1979. In a symbolic defeat for the party, Jonathan Motzfeldt, Premier for 17 years failed to win a seat in the Landsting. The more radical separatist IA is two seats short of a majority, and will probably cobble together a coalition to replace the outgoing Siumut-Atassut coalition. Siumut is already certain of being “out” of any coalition deal, so they will sit on the opposition benches for the first time.
The only municipality to vote for the Democrats was Ivittuut municipality, entirely composed of the Danish naval base in Kangilinnguit, whose population is mostly military personnel. This was also the only place to vote NO in 2008 to self-government. The town Pituffik (Thule Airbase), counted in Nuuk municipality gave over 66% to the Democrats. As in 2008, the blue part is a national park with a bunch of polar bears.