Preparing for the next two elections

Preparing for the next two elections

It’s been less than three months since ruling New Democracy confirmed its electoral triumph in May in a second national election, on June 25, that saw it win well over double the share of the vote that second-placed SYRIZA received – 40.56% to 17.83%.

But party officials from Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on down have started preparing for the upcoming electoral battles, the local and regional polls in October and the elections for the European Parliament in June 2024.

Next week is important for both biggest parties. Leftist SYRIZA members will vote for a new leader for the first time in 15 years, as the successive heavy national election defeats forced Alexis Tsipras to step down. And Mitsotakis will give a keynote speech outlining the coming year’s economic policies, with less margin this time for voter-pleasing handouts, leaving the prime minister to use the promise of deep reforms to keep the voters aboard.

Conservative New Democracy aims to win all 13 of Greece’s regions. This after deciding, on Crete, not to field a candidate, but to rally behind incumbent Stavros Arnaoutakis, who won with over 60% of the vote last time around, in 2019, with the support of socialist PASOK and SYRIZA, with the latter now having its own candidate. New Democracy will have to defend the 11 regions it holds and try to regain the Northern Aegean, now held by a dissident conservative.

The European elections will also pose the problem of a “loose vote” for the first time since 2004: Subsequent elections have been held only months before national ones, and their winners had ousted the incumbents in the national polls.

A positive result for New Democracy would consolidate its political domination until 2027, when a new national election is due. 

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