OPINION

Local elections

…The factors which make a victory by opposition New Democracy (ND) in the impending municipal elections almost certain are widely known and have been in place since the mid-1980s. The main element which gives ND an advantage is its long abstention from power. Voters from the governing party tend to display a rather loose attitude during municipal elections, for they see it as an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction, without prompting any dramatic repercussions, or just to warn the party in power. On the contrary, opposition supporters display strong solidarity and political will in the pursuit of party victory. Because of this, the government and the opposition tend to have different interpretations as to the importance of local elections. For the former, its weight is confined to the area of local administration, while the latter tries to lend the elections the dimension of an all-out political battle. For this reason, PASOK is facing extreme difficulty in finding well-known figures or top officials who will risk suffering a nearly certain defeat in major municipalities, while in ND there is an abundance of aspirant candidates and almost certain victors. Of course, as demonstrated by the results of the previous 15 years, a victory in local elections is not necessarily a prelude for a win in Parliamentary elections…