The radical change in the political climate ushered in by parliamentary elections on 25/1/15 continues, four months later, to determine the political scene and the relative strength of the parties. Despite the undoubted exacerbation of the social climate and, in particular, the worsening of expectations among households with regard to income and the outlook for the economy, the unprecedented – by Greek standards – post-electoral rallying of support for the new government remains strong (“rally around the flag effect”).
Who voted for SYRIZA. Change in party support, 2012-2015
Between 2012 and 2015, voter support for SYRIZA grew markedly, by 9.4% (from 26.9% to 36.3%). In just two years, its electoral base had expanded by almost 600,000 to total over 2.2 million voters. But the variations in the social composition of the vote for SYRIZA, as revealed by the most recent election result, have greater political importance. For, as can be seen empirically, for the first time to such a degree, a broad social alliance has been formed against the policy of austerity.
Four months after European elections, a strong electoral surge can be seen building in favor of the main opposition party as a consequence of: 1) the momentum of the election result, 2) widespread disapproval of the taxation policy being implemented and 3) the repeated failures of government propaganda. The significant electoral rise of SYRIZA, +5% compared to July, has elevated the main opposition party to voter support levels of around 36%, which would correspond to 146 seats in parliament (with a lower estimate of 142 and upper estimate of 150 seats).