Could the current order of support for the main political parties be reversed?
George Arapoglou: Although nothing can be ruled out for certain, this seems difficult. The inability of the main opposition to gain any significant portion of support lost by the ruling party, the high margin of an expectation of victory for New Democracy, and the prime minister’s appeal ‒ higher than that of his own party ‒ leave little room for an upset.
The undecided vote
George Arapoglou: “Currently, the so-called grey zone in the electorate has certain distinguishing characteristics compared to those that were observed in recent years and that has been reinforced by the tragedy at Tempi. It would seem appropriate to let some more time pass and wait for the next round of polls to allow for more accurate estimates.”
A grand coalition?
An outside observer might wonder why a grand coalition, including the two main parties, is not the prevailing scenario. One answer is that Greece has no tradition of coalition governments. But a more significant factor is the country’s political environment, which remains too toxic to allow a broad national consensus. Despite progress made since the tumultuous year of 2015, conditions do not exist for a major cross-party bargain. Such option should be considered if no other options were available.
Further, with more public administration reforms pending in the short term, a grand coalition could hand the opposition to radical right or left-wing political parties. That would be a serious political setback and a potential threat to the country’s orderly governance.
The two basic scenarios
Pulse RC presents the following scenarios based on its most recent polling, allocating the undecided vote in proportion with estimated support for each party.
Whether the next parliament has six or seven parties could be key to political developments in the coming months. Under Greek election rules, parties must exceed a 3 percent threshold in terms of vote share to be represented in parliament.
The far-right Greeks Party is likely to beat that threshold but parliament has voted for an amendment to block its participation on the grounds that its founder, a former MP for extreme right Golden Dawn, is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence. The Supreme Court will have the final word.