The battle for the center ground

With a large proportion of undecided voters in the middle, ND, SYRIZA are tweaking strategies

The battle for the center ground

The shadow of the loose or protest vote is hovering over ruling New Democracy and main opposition SYRIZA as surveys show that a large chunk of the electorate remains undecided or plans to abstain or cast a blank or invalid ballot in the May 21 national election. Indicatively, the latest Pulse poll for Skai TV showed this percentage approaching 16.5%.

The concern among party staff is that in the aftermath of the deadly train crash in northern Greece on February 28, this so-called gray zone remains at a particularly high level.

Deciphering the gray zone has become a priority for parties conducting quantitative and qualitative surveys, with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis readjusting aspects of his election strategy to draw voters from this pool. 

This pool of voters, including those who distanced themselves from ND after the train crash, have been divided into two categories. The first appears ready to move among the parties that are also represented in the present parliament. Members of the second category state that if they were obliged to exercise the right to vote, they would turn to one of the protest parties that are not lucky enough to enter the next parliament.


Sources say that among those included in the gray zone who declare that they will vote for one of the parliamentary parties, SYRIZA is said to be relatively low on the list of options, while the smaller parties, namely communist KKE, nationalist Greek Solution, radical leftist MeRA25, and the far-right Greeks Party of jailed Ilias Kasidiaris, appear to have already collected any gains from the new political scene that has emerged after the crash.

On the contrary, a significant portion of citizens with a centrist profile, who in 2019 had turned to Mitsotakis, now appear to be moving between ND and KINAL. 

In view of this analysis, the government will continue the comparison of its achievements against those of SYRIZA, but will put forward its commitments for the future, with new blood and bolder reforms, especially to the state. It will stress the stakes of the first election, arguing that they will determine who will govern the country, while the second will determine how the country will be governed (single-party or coalition government). 

Another issue parties are contending with is that the first election in May is, according to all existing polling data, a precursor one, with the final battle to be fought in early July when it will held under the ND electoral law that rewards the winning party with bonus seats in the 300-member Parliament. 

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