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In case it’s all Greek to you

May 1, 2012

The Greek election has huge implications for the rest of Europe. Here is a short explanation.

According to the exit polls (compiled by Singular Logic for the daily newspaper “Kathimerini”), seven parties are set to enter Parliament with the following number of seats:

NEA DIMOKRATIA – the centre-right party; broadly pro-austerity (109 seats)

SYRIZA – a coalition of radical left party; anti-austerity (50 seats)

PASOK – the centre-left party; broadly pro-austerity (42)

INDEPENDENT GREEKS – a right-wing newly formed party; think UKIP; anti-austerity (32)

KKE – the communist party; anti-austerity (26)

CHRISI AVGI – the far-right party; think BNP; anti-austerity (22)

DIMAR – social democratic party; anti-austerity (19)

This creates some tantalising possibilities.

– The centre-left and centre-right forming a very delicate pro-austerity coalition with a majority of 1 seat (151 of 300). Defections are common these days in Greek politics and this could be incredibly fragile.

– The centre-right switching to an anti-austerity stance and forming a coalition with other right-wing and far-right players (163 of 300).

– The centre-left switching to an anti-austerity stance and leading an anti-austerity coalition (without the far-right) (169 of 300).

And, of course, if the exit poll estimates are even a fraction off, the picture gets even murkier.

NB. This is meant to be a simple breakdown for non-Greeks. Please do not inundate me with comments about how this party is not really on the left and how that party is not really anti-austerity.


9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 6, 2012 7:55 pm

    thank you, will now watch developments as a more informed person.

  2. May 6, 2012 8:09 pm

    How do you know already these to be the exact seats apportion. Latest exit polls gave SYRIZA almost as many votes as ND. Can they get less than half of seats with almost the same number of votes?!

    If this seat allocation would be true, the ruling coalition would be back in power tomorrow (they need 151 seats and that’s exactly what ND+PASOK have).

    • May 6, 2012 8:17 pm

      As I wrote, these are just exit poll projections. Will update when solid results start to come through.

    • guy herbert permalink
      May 7, 2012 1:20 pm

      Yes they can, because the Greek system gives the leading party a 50-seat bonus. This is supposed to make govts more stable. Ho-ho.

      • May 7, 2012 2:43 pm

        Ah! I thought the bonus was because of apportioning by district (that happens in Spain for example, where a lot of districts only seem to serve to give extra seats to dominant parties), because ND has 1st position in most rural districts, while SYRIZA’s lead is concentrated in urban areas like Attica and Thessaloniki.

        But 50/300 gifted seats are a huge bonus, indeed.

        And still they don’t get but a third of Parliament, how pathetic!

        Thanks for the explanation, Guy. I had already figured out most of the Greek election by now except that.

  3. May 6, 2012 8:39 pm

    Thank you. I appreciate your analyses. As a Greek lover. Lived there and hoping one day to return.

  4. Enfrance permalink
    May 7, 2012 10:32 am

    Its a bit like doing the pools back in the 50’s – perm any one from five, etc. Thanks for your explanation and it will be intersting and not a little fraught after we have voted in a leftish new President.

  5. May 7, 2012 10:38 am

    Good summary. There’s also this excellent post over at the European Tribune if you want a bit more info –

  6. alex permalink
    May 8, 2012 7:36 pm

    Bonus 50 seats as a “bonus” lol

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