Voter Turnout in Greek Elections Drops to New Historic Low: Infographic

Greek_elections_abstention_ratesSYRIZA and its leader Alexis Tsipras may have been Sunday’s big election winners, but one of the facts that stands out about this election is the unprecedented abstention rate.

With 90% of the votes counted, 43.55% of Greeks who were eligible to vote did not go to the polls on Sunday. In real numbers this means that out of 9,836,997 Greeks who could cast their ballot approximately only 5,562,820 people voted. This is the highest abstention rate in the history of Greek parliamentary elections following the fall of the dictatorship in 1974.

Abstention rates in Greek elections have been increasing in the past eight years. In 2009 29% of Greece’s eligible voters did not vote as opposed to 25.9% in 2007. The second highest abstention rate was recorded in June 2012 when 37.5% of Greeks did not go to the polls.

Voting in Greece is mandatory by law, however, it is rarely enforced. This year’s low turnout rate potentially reflects that Greeks did not believe that their vote would make a difference, since any government would have to enact the policies of the new Greek bailout agreement that was singed in late August. In addition, this is the third time Greeks have been called to the polls this year. The first time was in the January elections, that were followed by a second vote for the July 5 referendum.

In many instances Greek voters must travel to the district where they are registered to vote and that could involve expensive trips far from where they reside. Some Greek analysts also noted that many citizens distrust the country’s political system to the point that they don’t even want to vote.

Whatever the case may be, SYRIZA won their second election in eight months and Tsipras will form a coalition government to represent the Greek people, or at least the 56.5% that voted.


  • Athan Paris

    Almost 45% of the electorate thought there was no hope…almost all the parties had agreed to the Austerity measures..this election was about what party would best fool the people into slavery within the EU group….This is a lost cause with out a significant haircut, there will be another election soon enough…..The Greeks lost a golden opportunity to get out of the Ponzi scheme that the EU group is force feeding them. The Greeks deserve this poison, and the coward Tsipras as leader…But what of the 45% who didn’t vote..?….almost half the country thought it was better to stay home….I give it a year…

  • Arithehun

    As utopian as your comments seem exit from the EU is not an option for most Greeks, the closure of the banks was a taste of was to come a deal had to be made. One can only hope some form of debt write off will be on the cards country needs stability first

  • Brian McDonough

    Popular Unity received about 159,000 votes from 9,836,997 potential voters or 1.6 % of the potential vote and 2.8 % of the actual vote. That is how many voters the highly unpopular Popular Unity could inspire to vote for this pathetic party. In the end, Popular Unity has only itself to blame for self-exiling itself from any representation whatsoever in Parliament.

    Greeks now know not to waste their votes on the likes of Lafazanis and Konstantopolou and also now know not to waste their time on the opinions of Varoufakis.

    Varoufakis, the Joseph Mengele of Game Theory, finally showed his true colors by voting for Popular Unity, whose platform was an exit from the EU and a return to the Drachma. Varoufakis has lost all of the little professional credibility he previously had from those who could not appreciate that he lacks all professional credibility.

    Popular Unity should be arrested for false advertising because it is the most unpopular party throughout Greece. Perhaps it will be honest next time and will represent itself and its platform correctly by changing its name to the Anathema Party.

  • Brian McDonough

    Popular Unity received about 159,000 votes from 9,836,997 potential voters or 1.6 % of the potential vote and 2.8 % of the actual vote. That is how many voters the highly unpopular Popular Unity could inspire to vote for this pathetic party. In the end, Popular Unity has only itself to blame for self-exiling itself from any representation whatsoever in Parliament.

    Greeks now know not to waste their votes on the likes of Lafazanis and Konstantopolou and also now know not to waste their time on the opinions of Varoufakis.

    Varoufakis, the Joseph Mengele of Game Theory, finally showed his true colors by voting for Popular Unity, whose platform was an exit from the EU and a return to the Drachma. Varoufakis has lost all of the little professional credibility he previously had from those who could not appreciate that he lacks all professional credibility.

    Popular Unity should be arrested for false advertising because it is the most unpopular party throughout Greece. Perhaps it will be honest next time and will represent itself and its platform correctly by changing its name to the Anathema Party.

  • Jackytan

    Does not bode well for the country, certainly is not a ringing endorsement for the winning party.
    Tsipras must realise he does not have a strong mandate from the people.

  • Jackytan

    The theme in the left wing media though would have people believe it was a strong victory. Greeks do not want to become a minority in their own country.

  • Anastais

    “Popular Unity should be arrested for false advertising ”

    Unfortunately, false advertising in politics isn’t a crime. And if it was, then the majority of the parties would have been arrested long ago, with only a few exceptions. If parties could be legally punished for breaking promises and making unrealistic statements, then the likes of Syriza and New Democracy would have been shut done long ago.

  • Don

    Varoufakis has always been in favour of bankruptcy and perhaps the return of the Drachma… he did say he wasn’t but reading his previous statements he did support that ideology. Popular unity party was exactly what people voted for in syriza their first one. Today’s supporters are not syriza it to be honest it is then that need to be arrested. If you knew Tsipras background in corruption then you would think twice about prioritizing the arrest of popular unity individuals. Let’s all vote for levendis