Greece: Syriza, New Democracy Neck-and-Neck Ahead of Sunday’s Vote

Southeast Europe | September 18, 2015, Friday // 17:15|  views

A municipality worker sets up a ballot box at a school`s classroom that will be a polling station in central Athens, Greece, 18 September 2015.

The left-wing Syriza party, led by former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and the conservative New Democracy, led by Vangelis Meimarakis are neck-and-neck ahead of Greece’s election on September 20, according to the latest polls.

Of the five polls published on Thursday and Friday, two put Syriza ahead, two gave New Democracy the lead, and one was a tie. The difference between the levels of support for the two parties was within the margin of error.

Neither party, however, is expected to win about 38% of the vote - the share needed to gain a majority in the 300-seat parliament. This is making a coalition government a near certainty, possibly even a coalition of both New Democracy and Syriza. So far, Syriza has has ruled out forming a grand coalition with New Democracy.

Under Greece’s electoral law, 250 seats are allocated, according to proportional representation, to each party that clears a 3% threshold to enter parliament. The winner then gets a 50-seat bonus.

Ultra-right wing Golden Dawn party appears firmly set to position itself in the third place, polls show. Socialist party Pasok and centrist To Potami have almost identical levels of support. 

The party that will form a government after the vote will have to implement the package of reforms, which Greece had agreed with the European Union and the IMF. Tsipras and Meimarakis have both pledged to press on with the terms dictated by the international creditors in the bailout agreement.

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Tags: Syriza, New Democracy, greece, vote, elections, parliament, lenders, creditors, Tsipras, Meimarakis


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