Neo-Nazi candidate for Athens mayor gets 8.3%, holding in some areas, losing in others

Neo-Nazi candidate for Athens mayor gets 8.3%, holding in some areas, losing in others

Golden Dawn convict Ilias Kasidiaris was voted for Athens mayor by 11,643 people from a total of 145,394 of the constituents in the Greek capital’s First District who participated in Sunday’s local elections, though the high rate of abstention, at 67.7%, is thought to have boosted the candidate as his supporters made a point of turning out. 

Having garnered 8.3% of the vote, support for the former spokesman of the defunct Neo-Nazi party was high considering that he ran his campaign on social media from behind bars at Korydallos Prison but it was not higher than expected. 
Overall, the former Golden Dawn spokesman’s appeal appears to be waning, particularly in areas where the far-right party’s violent anti-immigrant stance met with support. 

More specifically, in four of the municipality’s seven communities, Kasidiaris saw his popularity drop compared to the 2019 election. All four – Kolonos, Akadimia Platonos, Kolokynthous and Sepolia – are areas where the Golden Dawn candidate had done extremely well in 2014, getting 20% of the vote. That dropped in 2019 to 12.5% and slipped further last Sunday to 9.5%.

In other districts with large immigrant populations where Golden Dawn’s message had gained traction among angry Greeks – like Amerikis Square, Attiki and Kypseli – Kasidiaris saw his share of Sunday’s vote reach 13-15% at some polling stations, but also drop to 3-4% in others.

The picture was similar in the community encompassing Syntagma, Omonia, Monastiraki, Plaka, Kolonaki, Exarchia and Koukaki – districts with significant disparities – where his percentage reached 20% at some polling stations but was well below his overall rate in others.

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