REYKJAVIK   -  Icelanders began voting on Saturday in an election that could see its unprecedented left-right coalition lose its majority, despite bringing four years of stability after a decade of crises.

With the political landscape more splintered than ever, the process of forming a new coalition could be more complicated than in the past.

Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, whose Left-Green Movement had never led a government before, is seeking a second mandate but the large number of parties could stand in her way. Opinion polls suggest a record nine parties out of 10 are expected to win seats in the Althing, Iceland’s almost 1,100-year-old parliament. That makes it particularly tricky to predict which parties could end up forming a coalition.

First results were expected shortly after polling stations close at 10:00 pm (2200 GMT), but a clear picture was not expected to emerge until Sunday. Jon Sigurdsson, a 47-year-old entrepreneur, was among the first to cast his ballot in the capital Reykjavik.

“There are a lot of parties threatening to raise taxes and I think that is not the right thing to do. Enough already!” he told AFP, refusing to disclose who he voted for.

With 33 of 63 seats, the outgoing coalition is made up of the conservative Independence Party, the centre-right Progressive Party and the Left-Green Movement.