Greece’s conservative party head concedes election


The head of Greece's conservative New Democracy party, Vangelis Meimarakis, has conceded the country's early election, congratulating former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and calling for government to be quickly formed.

Early returns with 24 percent of the vote counted showed Tsipras' left-wing SYRIZA party with 35.3 percent, ahead of New Democracy's 28.1 percent.

"The election result appears to be forming comprehensively with SYRIZA and Mr Tsipras coming first," Meimarakis said. "I congratulate him and call on him to form the government that is necessary, and bring the (proposal) to parliament."

Early results and exit poll projections showed SYRIZA was falling short of an outright majority, meaning it will need coalition partners to form a government. During the campaign, Meimarakis had said his party would join SYRIZA in a national unity government – something Tsipras has repeatedly ruled out.