Greece’s Political Scene Cloudy in View of Elections



greece-electionsElection analysts and political observers fear that the unpredictable outcome of the forthcoming two rounds of voting may further destabilize Greece’s fragile political scene, with unprecedented levels of swing voters recorded just a week before the elections, as well as a record number of candidates and ballots set to further complicate matters.

Analysts estimate that three scenarios are most likely for the second and final election round on May 25. First, a collapse of the current government leads to parliamentary elections before the matter of settling Greece’s debt relief can be addressed. Second, the danger of the country’s leading parties New Democracy and SYRIZA polling below 50 percent between them makes another coalition government likely. Third, Golden Dawn and other radical movements see their percentages skyrocket, backed by angry voters who didn’t give any prior information about their intention and misled the polls.

The greatest risk, however, lies in the results of the first election round, as a ‘victory’ by certain parties could trigger the opposite reaction in the second and most crucial European Parliament election round, with voters intentions’ shifting so as to support parties that didn’t acquire high percentages on the first Sunday, or voters neglecting to cast their vote due to the seemingly sure election outcome.

The voting intentions for the second round may be estimated by taking into consideration the outcome in major electoral districts, which are considered to depict voting behavior more accurately.

In Athens, a potential lead by Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris would have a completely different reception by Greek voters, while a lead by SYRIZA-endorsed candidate Gavriil Sakellaridis would exclude current mayor Giorgos Kaminis from the second round, with both candidates securing votes from the same electoral base. Meanwhile, the three center-left candidates could only disperse votes and further strengthen the other candidacies.

To all the above, analysts add another determinant factor, Stavros Theodorakis’ party ‘To Potami,’ which could possibly alter the Greek post-election political scene.

Meanwhile, recent polls indicate the decisive move by PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos to run under the “Elia” (Olive Tree) umbrella could bear fruit, as the party’s percentages have gone up slightly. Recently, Venizelos publicly acknowledged that the survival of PASOK and of the current government coalition is tied to the percentages secured by ‘Elia,’ a possibility also accepted by New Democracy. Venizelos, however, also sees his own leadership being threatened if PASOK/Elia do not secure the desired ratings.