Final election results in Greece confirmed what had been expected in the last few days: A convincing win for SYRIZA that leaves the leftist party without a parliamentary majority.
The first round of exit polls, made public as polling centers closed at 7 p.m., indicate that SYRIZA will achieve a much larger margin of victory than expected but is not guaranteed to get a parliamentary majority.
A victory for SYRIZA in the general elections looks certain according to opinion polls but there are three factors to look out for on Sunday that will prove decisive in shaping Greek politics over the next few weeks and months.
As opinion polls show support for SYRIZA growing and the leftists edging towards a parliamentary majority, so the comments coming from the party’s leading officials have shifted towards a more conciliatory approach towards Greece’s lenders.
Bookmakers appear confident that SYRIZA will win Sunday’s elections but without an outright majority. They also anticipate a close contest for the third place and believe it is more likely than not that Independent Greeks will enter Parliament.
With its leader and half of its parliamentary group in jail, it is no surprise that Golden Dawn has been largely absent from this brief election race but this should not be taken as a sign that the Neo-Nazis will perform poorly on Sunday.
The mixed messages from SYRIZA on what it plans to do if it wins Sunday’s elections have continued this week, partly reflecting the party’s attempt to draw votes from both the left and the centre in the last days of the campaign.
Going into the last week of Greece’s election campaign little has changed in terms of what the opinion polls suggest will be the outcome of the January 25 vote (a SYRIZA win just short of a parliamentary majority) but new scenarios about what might happen after the elections are starting to emerge.
Going into the final stretch of the election campaign, opinion polls indicate that SYRIZA’s victory – although not necessarily an outright parliamentary majority - is assured, barring any dramatic developments next week.
A total of 9,834,970 Greeks are registered to vote in the January 25 elections but the result could still be shaped by around 1 in 10 voters who have yet to make up their minds.