Friday, July 5, 2019

Resurgent centre-right party poised for victory in Greek election

by Helena Smith


July 5, 2019

As the sun sets over the Acropolis, bathing the monument in the gentle light of a dying day, Kyriakos Mitsotakis ascends the podium, punching the air in jubilant mood. The backdrop may be antiquity’s most famous site but before him is a sea of blue and white, the colour of the Greek flag being waved by the crowd.

The man poised to become Greece’s next prime minister takes in the scene. “On Sunday Greece will become blue, the blue of the sky, the blue of the sea,” he thunders. “On Sunday we vote, on Monday we turn a page.”

Three days before snap elections, the opposition leader is on a roll. Democracy can produce unexpected results but every analyst agrees this is an election of foregone conclusion.

All polls point to victory for Mitsotakis’s centre-right New Democracy, with most suggesting the party is on course to win an outright majority in what would be a significant shift for a country governed by fragile coalitions for the past decade.

On Thursday, a Pulse survey showed the conservatives leading the leftist Syriza by eight percentage points. If so, New Democracy would acquire between 155 and 159 seats in the 300-seat parliament repeating its spectacular performance in the European election in May which prompted the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, to call the vote three months ahead of schedule.


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