Greek Voters Turn their Backs to Far Right Golden Dawn



Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos

Far right Golden Dawn suffered a devastating defeat at Sunday’s general election that may leave the party, often described as neo-Nazi, with no parliamentary representation.

Greek voters reversed a trend towards extreme-right politics that has been prevalent in some other European countries.

According to official results, with more than 60 percent of the votes counted, Golden Dawn gets 2.98 percent, just below the three percent threshold required for parliamentary representation.

The result follows a trend set at May’s European elections where it lost close to 60 percent of its electoral base.

Following an investigation into the 2013 murder of Pavlos Fyssas, an anti-fascist rapper, by a supporter of the party, its leader Nikos Michaloliakos and several other Golden Dawn MPs and members were arrested and held in pre-trial detention on suspicion of forming a criminal organization. The trial began on April 20, 2015 and is ongoing.

Golden Dawn first made a significant mark in Greek politics at the local elections in 2010 Golden Dawn when it got 5.3 percent of the vote in the municipality of Athens, winning a seat on the City Council. In some neighborhoods with large immigrant communities it reached 20 percent.

The party ran a campaign during the May 2012 Greek national elections based on concerns about unemployment, austerity, the economy, and immigration, which gained a large increase in support from the Greek electorate.

It received 7 percent of the popular vote, enough for the party to enter the Hellenic Parliament for the first time with 21 seats.

Following a second election in June 2012, this was reduced to 18 seats. As a result of the January 2015 Greek national elections, the party became the third largest in Parliament, despite winning only 17 seats.