Polling stations in Greece's triple elections for European Parliament and regional and local government closed at 7 p.m. on Sunday, with a public opinion poll showing a solid lead for the conservative New Democracy party.
According to a poll carried out by MRB, Alco, Metron Analysis, Pulse and Marc for Antenna TV, Alpha TV, Open TV, One Channel, Star and Skai, Greece's conservative opposition will win between 32 and 36 percent of the vote, securing 8-9 seats in the European Parliament.
Ruling SYRIZA is projected to win between 25 and 29 percent of the vote, earning six or seven seats.
The poll suggested that the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) alliance will garner between 7 and 9 percent, or two to three seats, while neo-fascist Golden Dawn is shown between 5-7 percent, gaining one or two seats.
The Greek Communist Party (KKE) is set to win between 5 and 7 percent, according to the poll, also gaining one or two seats in the European House.
The pro-Russian nationalist party Greek Solution was projected to win between 2.5 and 4.5 percent and a possible seat in the Euro assembly, Diem25 – the Greek section of former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis’ European movement – between 2.5 and 4.5 percent, also possibly securing one seat, and To Potami centrists between 1 and 2 percent.
The poll, with 7,000 respondents, was conducted until 5 p.m., two hours before voting ended, and will be updated.
According to a first exit poll by ERT state broadcaster, New Democracy will win between 30.5 and 33.5 percent of the vote, with SYRIZA following with between 25.5 and 28.5 percent.
According to the same poll, KINAL and Golden Dawn are both projected to garner between 6 and 8 percent of the vote. KKE is set to gather between 5-7 percent, Diem25 between 2.5 and 3.5 percent, and Greek Solution between 2.5 and 3.5 percent.
Potami, ANEL and the Union of Centrists are all shown below the 3 percent threshold.
Seen as a litmus test ahead of general elections later this year, Sunday's polls attracted what observers are describing as a “good turnout.”
Speaking while casting his ballot in the northern Athenian suburb of Neo Psychico on Sunday morning, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos hailed the elections as an opportunity for Greeks “to prove how European we are,” at a time “when the forces of populism and racism are openly threatening the European structure.”
For leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who voted in the downtown Athens district of Kypseli, the ballot was an opportunity for citizens to “defend the sacrifices and efforts of the Greek people,” by voting in favor of SYRIZA, which would be tantamount to “approving” the government's economic recovery and relief programs.
New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed confidence that “a new day will dawn for our country” on Monday morning.
“This is the time for citizens to have their say. I fully trust their judgement,” Mitsotakis said before casting his ballot in Kifissia in northern Athens.
A survey of public opinion polls published ahead of Sunday's vote by Politico saw a 8.6 lead for the conservative opposition over the leftists, with New Democracy garnering 35.08 percent of the vote against 26.49 percent for SYRIZA.
The poll also indicated that the battle for third place between the centrist Movement for Change (KINAL) alliance and neo-Nazi Golden Dawn will go down to the wire with each expected to get 6.8 and 6.3 percent respectively.
New Democracy to top European vote in Greece, exit poll shows
A joint exit poll published after voting closed on Sunday showed conservative New Democracy opposition topping European Parliament elections in Greece.