Johanna Sigurdardottir, the world’s first openly gay leader, has won Iceland’s general election.

The Social Democrat leader formed a left-wing coalition with the Left-Green Movement.

The Social Democrats won 30.5 per cent of the vote, or 20 parliamentary seats, while the Left-Green Movement won 21.5 per cent, or 14 seats. Both parties have said they will form a coalition government.

Ms Sigurdardottir, 66, will lead the first left-wing government in the country after almost 18 years of conservative Independent party domination.

She has already signalled her plans for Iceland to join the European Union, saying: “We want Iceland as soon as possible to join the European Union and adopt the euro.”

She added: “I should emphasise that this is a priority issue for the Social Democrats.”

Ms Sigurdardottir has been an MP since 1978 and was recently voted the most popular politician in Iceland.

Well-known for keeping her private life out of the spotlight, she has never given any interviews about her sexuality or her family.

Her partner is Jónína Leósdóttir, a well known playwright, author and a journalist and the couple are registered in Iceland (the equivalent of a civil partnership).

Together they have three grown up children.

In 2002 a gay man did act as prime minister of Norway, but only for a matter of hours. Ms Sigurdardottir is the first ever openly gay head of government.