Campaign strategies for New Democracy and SYRIZA

Campaign strategies for New Democracy and SYRIZA

There is a tendency for main opposition SYRIZA to be underestimated in public opinion polls. This happened repeatedly in the past decade. In that context the massive difference between the two main parties shown in most surveys seems fictitious.

It is hard to believe that after four years in power, New Democracy continues to enjoy the same – if not greater – popularity over SYRIZA as it did in the elections of July 2019, when the conservatives got 39.8% of the vote and the leftists 31.5%.

Probably closer to reality is the feeling that the difference in the upcoming elections will be much smaller.

It is also clear that this is not 2015 and certainly not the first eight months of that year. From the perspective of political stance and experience, SYRIZA is a very different party today to what it was in 2015. It is a systemic player that has governing experience which most likely will bring in new faces that will appeal to the electorate.

Through this prism, wouldn’t it be better and more effective for New Democracy to put forward a positive narrative instead of arguing that anything except its re-election will spell disaster for the country? Fearmongering will lose traction fast, especially among undecided voters and centrist citizens who are worried.

SYRIZA has every reason to convey pragmatism and offer a more social-democratic bent. Whether it will succeed and convince voters too is the challenge it faces.

On the other hand, the question for New Democracy is whether it would be wiser to invest in a positive view of the future instead of fear about the past.

ND seems to still be holding out, despite the natural wear and tear from a full term in power. For the time being it is withstanding the pressure. Mistakes have been made, some of them extremely serious, which the opposition will obviously exploit. Both SYRIZA and PASOK will make a point of talking about inflation, the wiretapping affair and the various misdeeds of lawmakers to argue that the country needs political change.

How does ND plan to respond? What is its strategy? Might offense be the best defense? Ask for the support of voters not because the country will be ruined if it loses, but because, it could argue, it is the better party and wants to be judged by its achievements. Try to convince people by reminding them of what it has accomplished, the crises it has dealt with, the challenges it has overcome and the results of all this.

Elections are not won on fearmongering and harping on about the past, which it can’t be sure will convince many, but on defending your record and projecting an optimistic vision for the future. 

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