Three weeks before a snap election in which it is expected to prevail, center-right New Democracy yesterday unveiled a list of candidates that is strong on new faces with six in 10 newcomers to Greek politics.
“The radical revival of New Democracy that Kyriakos Mitsotakis had promised is being realized with today’s announcement of the 419 candidate MPs,” a source at ND said, referring to the conservative leader.
Specifically, of the 419 candidates, 243 are new to the political scene. If one discounts the 78 active ND MPs who are running for re-election, of the 341 remaining candidates, 72 percent are newcomers.
Forty-three of the candidates are from the list of cadres that Mitsotakis compiled following his election to the party leadership in early 2016 which had sought to bring new blood into the center-right party. Among them are cardiologist Inetzi Dimitrakaki and the eminent academic Tonia Arahova.
The list also points to a bid to bring more young people. Of the candidates, 139 are under 45 and 67 are in their 30s. The average age on the candidate list is 49 while the split between male and female candidates is close to equal (with 43 percent of women overall and the ratio at 50 percent in the provinces).
An opinion poll carried out by Marc for the Proto Thema newspaper over the weekend saw ND beating leftist SYRIZA by 9.8 percentage points in the July 7 polls. ND got 34.4 percent of the vote, ahead of SYRIZA’s 24.6 percent.
The center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) was in third place with 7.1 percent, ahead of the Communist Party (KKE) with 4.9 percent and neofascist Golden Dawn with 3.5 percent. Former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis’ MeRA25 polled at 3.4 percent, while the ultranationalist Greek Solution was on the cusp of entering Parliament.