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Iceland's ruling Independence Party takes lead ahead of Saturday vote - poll

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Iceland's ruling Independence Party takes lead ahead of Saturday vote - poll

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REYKJAVIK/COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Iceland’s centre-right Independence Party has pulled ahead in an opinion poll before Saturday’s parliamentary vote, the second snap election in a year after a string of political scandals. The Independence Party, which was part of every government from 1980 to 2009 and has been in power since 2013, got 24 percent support in a poll published on Thursday by Frettabladid, Iceland’s largest newspaper. The Left-Green party polled at 19 percent, while the Social Democrats stood to get 14.3 percent of votes as the third-biggest party. Just a week ago, the Independence Party and the Left-Greens stood neck and neck in polls at just under 20 percent each. A victory for the Independence Party would give Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson the right to try to form a new government. The Pirate Party, which rode a wave of anger against the establishment to become the third-biggest party in elections a year ago, stood to get 9 percent of votes, Thursday’s poll showed.

(Reporting by Elias Thorsson and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
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