The results of the European Parliament elections due to take place on Sunday are expected to have a pivotal impact on the strategies of the country’s political parties in view of national polls later in the year.
Ruling SYRIZA, for one, is consumed by concerns that opposition New Democracy will garner more than 30 percent of the vote in the elections on Sunday and win by a margin of more than 5 percent – enough to put it on course to form a single-party government when national elections are held.
Analysts insist that despite the pledge by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that national elections will be held at the end of his government’s term in office in October, the European election results could expedite political developments and trigger snap polls in June.
SYRIZA pundits insist that if the ruling leftist party loses by a margin of less than 5 percent and the conservatives fall below 30 percent then its defeat will be manageable.
In this case, the government can claim that the national elections will be up for grabs and justifiably dispute the prevailing view that the conservatives will win an absolute majority in national elections allowing it to form a one-party government.
According to conservative observers, New Democracy is aiming to win Sunday’s election by more than the 3.5 margin that SYRIZA achieved in 2014 for “psychological reasons.” SYRIZA went on to comfortably win national elections a few months later in January 2015.
Meanwhile, a political ad by SYRIZA’s Rena Dourou, who is running for re-election as Attica regional governor, sparked a public outcry as it showed her speaking against a backdrop of images from the devastating wildfires in eastern Attica that led to the deaths of more than 100 people. Dourou has come under fire since the tragedy, as it happened under her watch as regional governor.
The ad, which was widely denounced on social media, also drew a scathing response from ND.
“The provocative video by Ms Dourou simply confirms how inappropriate, cynical and dangerous the people who handled the national tragedy in Mati are,” it said in a statement.
“Even today they are not aware of their responsibilities, insulting the memory of our 102 fellow citizens. Shame,” it added.