Greece is holding its second general election in 35 days. In next Sunday’s vote, and under a change in the election system, the winning party will be awarded a bonus of up to 50 seats in a 300-member parliament – gaining one bonus seat for every half-point above the 25 percent national vote share. The winning party, therefore, reaching or exceeding 40 percent will be awarded all 50 additional seats. The threshold for gaining national representation remains set at 3 percent. Comment below is from George Arapoglou, General Director of the Pulse RC research company and John Papageorgiou, founder and head of the Athens Digest.
The results on May 21
The results of the previous general elections on May 21 were:
New Democracy: 40.79 percent
Syriza: 20.07 percent
Pasok / Movement for Change: 11.46 percent
Greek Communist Party, KKE: 7.23 percent
Hellenic Solution: 4.45 percent
Three parties narrowly missed the 3 percent mark: The far-right Niki with 2.92 percent, the far-left Course of Freedom with 2.89 percent, and Varoufakis’ far-left Mera25 with 2.63 percent.
Pulse’s poll results
A new Pulse RC opinion poll for SKAI television suggests New Democracy has expanded its lead going into the final week of campaigning. The June 8-12 survey of 1,308 respondents gave the conservatives an advantage of 20 points over Syriza, keeping Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ incumbents on track for outright victory.
New Democracy has a 21-point lead over its main rival Syriza according to the estimated voting intention. The conservatives have an estimated 39 percent, with Syriza at 18 percent, followed by Pasok at 11.5 percent, KKE at 6.5 percent, and Hellenic Solution at 3.5 percent. The Niki party and Course of Freedom are also polling above the threshold, respectively with 3.5 and 4 percent, while Mera25 and the extreme right Spartans are below it, both at 1.5 percent.
G. Arapoglou: “The polling data gives us a similar picture to that of the May 21 elections. Support groupings for the first four parties, especially for New Democracy, appear cohesive with voters expressing a willingness to participate in the June 25 elections at levels close to those recorded in the previous ballot. These findings lead us to the conclusion that the vote in May was a conscious one, not based on short-term circumstances or factors later seen as a misjudgment.”
J. Papageorgiou: “The current campaign period has a very distinctive characteristic: Parties, already aware of their electoral strength based on the May results, are trying to appeal to a small portion of the electorate that could potentially change their decision. The aim is to suffer the smallest possible losses, while also trying to pick up some additional support. But no trend has emerged suggesting that the fundamental results will change.”
Majority in Parliament
New Democracy’s advantage is even stronger when considering the estimated vote share (after allocation of the undecided vote according to the vote estimate). It leads with 42 percent, 22.5 points clear of Syriza (19.5%). Five more parties are on course to gain national representation: Pasok at 12 percent, KKE with 7 percent, Hellenic Solution and Niki with 4 percent and Course of Freedom with 4.5 percent. Mera25 and the Spartans, both on 1.8 percent, fall short.
Based on this scenario, New Democracy would be awarded all 50 bonus seats and have a comfortable majority with 163 MPs. Syriza would have 52, Pasok 32 and KKE 19, followed by Hellenic Solution and Niki, both with 11, and Course of Freedom with 12.
G. Arapoglou: “Provided, as the survey suggests, New Democracy maintains its electoral performance, garnering support above 40 percent and winning all 50 bonus seats, then outright victory looks certain regardless of whether six, seven or eight parties are represented in the next parliament. That remains the case even if the total number of parties that do not exceed the 3 percent threshold is significantly reduced.”
J. Papageorgiou: “Next Sunday’s elections are defined by a quite unusual fact: Only one party is now seeking enough votes to govern, given the results last month. New Democracy is trying to secure a majority in parliament that is not marginal and will boost its ability to act. After its crushing defeat, Syriza is fighting to maintain its position as the uncontested main opposition party. At this point, this doesn’t seem to be questioned. But Syriza now faces competition from Pasok, which is returning from a decade in the doldrums and already eying the European Parliament elections in June 2024.”