Greek conservatives from the New Democracy party were leading over the leftist Syriza in elections on Sunday, a joint exit poll by six polling agencies showed. Without outright majority, incumbent PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s must find a coalition partner quickly, something which may prove a challenge.
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The voting stations closed at 7 p.m. local time (1600 GMT). The exit polls indicate that the conservative New Democracy party received between 36 and 40% of the vote. This would be short of roughly 45% needed for the incumbent PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s party to gain a majority in the country’s 300-seat unicameral parliament independently.
Their main competitor, former PM Alexis Tsipras’s leftist Syriza can expect 25 and 29%.
Exit polls indicate that other socialist PASOK can expect 9.5-12.5% of votes, communist KKE 6-8%, right-wing Elliniki Lysi (Hellenic Solution) 3.5-5.5%, leftist Mera25 2.5-4.5%, leftist Plefsi Eleftherias 2.2-4.2%.
The exit poll was conducted by ALCO, Marc, Metron Analysis, MRB Hellas, Pulse, and GPO.
New Democracy may struggle to find coalition partners, and if they fail to do so in nine days, a new election would be called in roughly a month’s time.
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Problems facing Greece
A cost of living crisis dominated the campaign, with parties trying to woo voters with pledges to increase the minimum wage and create jobs. A price surge has had a profound impact on Greeks, whose living standards had been eroded by a decade-long debt crisis.
Greece almost crashed out of the euro at the peak of its debt crisis in 2015. Mitsotakis, elected in 2019, has portrayed himself as a safe pair of hands in his campaign to win the votes of just under 10 million Greeks.
“Today the country’s government responsibility has been passed on to you, the people, but I’m certain that tomorrow an even better day will dawn for our country,” Mitsotakis told journalists earlier after casting his vote.
His administration, however, took the brunt of public outrage over a February 28 rail crash killing 57 people, and a wiretapping scandal targeting politicians.