Iceland's Pirate Party Most Popular After Panama Papers Prompt PM To The Plank

12/04/2016 8:33 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Sigtryggur Johannsson / Reuters
Birgitta Jonsdottir of the Pirate Party speaks in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Sigtryggur Johannsson

Iceland’s once-fringe, radical Pirate Party has surged since the Panama Papers leak to become the nation’s most popular party.

More than 43 percent of respondents in a media poll released last week said they would vote for the Pirates, the most for any party. That’s a significant gain from last month, before the Panama Papers implicated the prime minister and members of his cabinet in offshore accounts, when a poll put the party at almost 24 percent of the vote.

The Pirates’ surge follows the ruling coalition government’s offshore accounts scandal, which last week forced Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson to step down. This newfound status as potential political front-runner is a strange development for the young and unconventional party.

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