Conservatives win Greek elections

Lazy eyes listen


On Sunday, Greece’s ruling New Democracy (ND) party won a parliamentary majority, averting the necessity for coalition talks. The second ballot in five weeks showed a comparable amount of support for the conservative bloc as in the previous round, despite a new majority bonus method giving them more seats.

Under the new setup, which grants the winner between 25 and 50 additional seats based on performance, the ND party gained 158 members in the country’s 300-seat legislature. It earned more than 40% of the vote, which is roughly the same percentage that it received on May 21, when it gained 146 seats. On that occasion, the ND party was unable to find a coalition partner among the four other factions that cleared the 3% barrier.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the ND leader who stepped down as prime minister after the inconclusive election victory last month and formed a caretaker government, will now run for a second term.

Syriza, the left-wing party of former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, suffered the greatest electoral defeat, winning only 47 seats, down from 86 in the 2019 election and 71 in May. His coalition administration instituted the purely proportional system, which he lost four years ago to Mitsotakis.

The Spartans and the Victory party, two right-wing political forces that previously did not have members in parliament, will now have small factions of ten to twelve representatives each. According to Politico, the new composition has the “most rightward slant since the restoration of democracy in 1974,” when Greece’s military dictatorship was overthrown.

The left-wing Course of Freedom party, whose leader Zoe Konstantopoulou temporarily served as speaker in 2015, is another newbie to the assembly. On Sunday, it won an anticipated eight seats.

Mitsotakis campaigned on promises to stimulate the economy, strengthen Greece’s national credit rating, and raise wages. The country, like many others in the EU, is confronting a cost-of-living crisis. The long-term consequences of Athens’ debt crisis, which began more than a decade ago, have exacerbated problems throughout the EU. Greece, a popular tourist destination, suffered as a result of the EU’s push to penalise Moscow with visa restrictions.