As expected, the Socialist Party (PASOK) won an overall majority rather easily in last night’s Greek elections, defeating the incumbent conservative government. George Papandreou (PASOK) will become Prime Minister, the third Papandreou to do so, succeeding Kostas Karamanlis. The final results are as follows:
PASOK 43.92% (+5.82%) winning 160 seats (+58)
ND 33.48% (-8.38%) winning 91 seats (-61)
KKE 7.54% (-0.61%) winning 21 seats (-1)
LAOS 5.63% (+1.83%) winning 15 seats (+5)
SYRIZA 4.60% (-0.44%) winning 13 seats (-1)
EcoGreens 2.53% (+1.48%)
Turnout was 70.92%, down from 74.14% in 2004. Results are available here.
While PASOK’s victory is comfortable and without question an excellent result, the map just overplays the extent of its domination. Mostly due to ND, which had its worst result since its creation in 1974. I still think this is more of a vote for change than a vote for Papandreou or his party, and a vote against Karamanlis. The KKE dropped a little, probably victim to some voters switching to PASOK, and SYRIZA dropped a bit, victim in part to their attitude during the riots, though their drop was offset by their new leader’s popularity. LAOS obviously served as a reserve for right-wing voters who had voted ND in 2007 (and provided it with a late swing resulting in it’s narrow majority) but didn’t want to vote Socialist this year. I don’t know if the Greenies have much of a future, or if they do, it’s much less promising than it was before they shot themselves five times in the foot.
ND only held tight, it seems, in some of their northern strongholds and the far south of the Peloponnese, which was historically the most conservative (or royalist/pro-German in 1914) region of Greece. As opposed to a north which voted massively for Venzielist and the republic, mostly because they were new citizens and had benefited from the irredentist Venzielist policies. Sidetracked. As for the solidly PASOK prefectures in the northern Peloponnese, I assume that’s more of a personal dynastic vote for the Papandreous who come from the area. PASOK won 94% of the vote in the birthplace of the family, so personal dynastic votes are still highly important. Crete and the Dodecanese vote PASOK due not to centre-left voting patterns, but centrist voting patterns, centrist in Greece meaning Venzielist. Venzielos himself was Cretan and Crete formed the basis of his first policies. PASOK’s two northern strongholds, Xanthi and Rhodope are plurality Turkish-Thrace Muslim (Rhodope itself is majority Muslim/Turkish whatever). Communist support is two-fold, both insular with its best results on Lesbos and Samos, but also in the industrial suburbs of Piraeus and Athens, which are also ND’s worst areas nationally. Communist support inland, in central Greece, might be based on old KKE areas in the Civil War, though I’m definitely not certain of that. LAOS’ support is reactionary in the immigrant-heavy areas of Attica (Athens) and nationalist in Greek Macedonia. The Greenies’ relative spread outside of urban cores is surprising, especially in Crete and the islands, though the Greenies’ base remains in Attica or atleast in urban cores.
Excuse the stereotypical silly font, I wanted to have fun.
George Papandreou, the leader of PASOK will become Prime Minister. He’s a reformist and moderate figure within his party, and especially moderate on terms of foreign policy, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll prevail over the ‘old’ archaic dinosaurs within the party. He also faces a host of issues, including a poor economic outlook, the eternal Macedonian question and also a general discontent with Greek politics within the Greek electorate (or if not, the Greek youth).