Local and regional elections conducted alongside European Parliament polls on Sunday produced a mixed picture, with conservative New Democracy prevailing in most of Greece’s 13 regions but leftist SYRIZA clinching the key governorship of Attica, which is home to about a third of Greeks.
The leftists’ candidate Rena Dourou edged out Attica Governor Yiannis Sgouros by winning 50.8 percent, over the latter’s 49.1 percent, in the closest result of the night.
Her victory was a significant blow for New Democracy, whose candidate for Attica was beaten in the first round of voting. But the re-election of Giorgos Kaminis as Athens mayor, the coalition-backed candidate who won a close race against SYRIZA challenger Gavriil Sakellaridis, offset the loss of Attica to the leftists.
SYRIZA also won the Ionian Islands but candidates backed by New Democracy took the Northern Aegean, Central Greece, Epirus, Thessaly, Southern Aegean and Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.
The Peloponnese governorship went to Petros Tatoulis, who was backed by the coalition, while PASOK’s Stavros Arnaoutakis won on Crete and independents took Central Macedonia, Western Macedonia and Western Greece.
In Central Macedonia, former New Democracy candidate Apostolos Tzitzicostas thrashed conservative hopeful Yiannis Ioannidis with 71 percent of the vote.
Several significant mayoral posts went to independent candidates too, with Yannis Boutaris gaining re-election in Thessaloniki and Yiannis Moralis, vice president of Olympiakos soccer club, beating the ND-backed incumbent Vassilis Michaloliakos.