AN ASTONISHING fact is that almost one in ten of the Icelandic population is currently in Paris supporting their national football team. National pride is high and given that they face a presidential election on Saturday, football could be a deciding factor through influencing the public’s mood. This is an historic election for Iceland, the incumbent has been in position for almost 20 years and had been – until last month - campaigning to be re-elected for a sixth term. Often a nation’s political sentiment can be influenced by a wave of public euphoria created by a sporting win. International football wins are perceived as making countries more nationalistic in their immediate wake. Will the Icelanders vote for a candidate who replicates the status quo or vote for a complete change? In parallel - just in case you had missed it - the UK goes to the polls on the EU membership on Thursday and it won’t be the first time that football has been thought to influence an important UK vote. Looking back into the last century, there’s a distinct possibility that the result of the general election in the summer of 1970 that Heath's Conservatives tipped Wilson out of Downing Street, may well have been influenced by England's quarter-final defeat by West Germany in the 1970 World Cup quarter-final in Mexico. This took place just four days before the poll. Commentators see it as having “deflated the mood of the nation” and there’s a link between this and the public seeking something new. With England due to play their final Euro group game tonight (June 20), three days before the EU referendum, could history repeat itself? Could a feel-good factor created by England, Wales and Northern Ireland qualifying for the knockout stages sway some of the "undecideds" to vote remain? Or could an early exit for those teams influence public sentiment and take us from the EU? The effect of football on the way any public votes may be marginal, but marginal votes count in what is potentially a close-run contest.