Historian and associate university professor Gudni Johannesson has declared victory in Iceland's presidential election, with early results showing him capturing 39 percent of the vote to beat eight other candidates.

The 47-year-old independent candidate was ahead of businesswoman Halla Tomasdottir, who had an estimated 30 percent support from Saturday's vote. Johannesson told his supporters Sunday: "Not all the votes have been counted, but I think victory is in our hands," according to the Iceland Review.

Johannesson, a political outsider, joined the presidential race in April with a promise to restore the nation's trust in the political system after demonstrations called for the resignation of the prime minister amid a scandal involving offshore accounts.

Johannesson follows Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who had been re-elected to the four-year post four times since 1996.