Parties seeking to make their mark

ND wants continued confidence, as SYRIZA, PASOK vie for second and far-right seeks entrenchment

Parties seeking to make their mark

The stakes of Sunday’s European elections are high for Greece’s political parties – each for their own reasons – as the results will shape the country’s political landscape the day after. 

Ruling New Democracy has repeatedly stated it is targeting a repeat of the 33% it garnered in the 2019 European elections, as it would signify a “continuation” of the electorate’s confidence. In any case, it does not want this percentage to fall below 32%.

Leftist SYRIZA wants to solidify its profile as the country’s main opposition party and will settle for nothing less than the 17.83% it got in last year’s national elections, while its leader Stefanos Kasselakis has recently raised the bar by eyeing 20% – anything below 17% will be considered a “defeat.”

PASOK leader Nikos Androulakis is hoping to snatch second place from SYRIZA, without referring to percentages. A performance below the 11.8% that the socialist party received in last year’s national elections would be a failure.

Based on the poll projections, the most likely outcome is that the combined percentages of SYRIZA and PASOK will fall short of ND’s ruling conservatives. This will hammer home the point that there is essentially no major opposition force and prolong ND’s absolute dominance. Against this backdrop, both Kasselakis and Androulakis have expressed their intention to fill the void, with members of the broader center-left also discussing the issue behind the scenes.

The question of which party will come second is of some importance, but equally important is whether SYRIZA and PASOK will increase their share from the national election vote – a prerequisite to avoid internal party turmoil and leadership challenges.

Also crucial is the difference between SYRIZA and PASOK. If it is large, there will be a major dominant pole in the center-left come Monday. If not, it will remain fractured.

The stakes are also high for the parties to the right of ND, which collectively garnered 13% of the vote in the national elections last year. Anything above 16% would be considered inordinately high by ND, which is their closest party on the political spectrum

However, the so-called loose vote in the European elections combined with the rising trend of the far-right across Europe, is adding momentum to nationalist Greek Solution, which is entertaining the possibility of coming second in northern Greece. Niki is aiming to move above the 3.7% it got in the national elections. At the same time, the newly formed Voice of Logic is looking for 3%, slightly above Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), the “Conservatives” and the “Patriots.”

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