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).
The government crisis caused by the closure of state broadcaster ERT resulted in the withdrawal of Democratic Left (DIMAR) and an inglorious end to the three-party coalition. This development reopens the question concerning the outlook for the ‘Center-Left’. In elections in 2012, this portion of the party spectrum was mainly represented by two party formations, the remnants of PASOK and DIMAR, whose ideological and political positions to a great extent overlap. In aggregate, the two parties polled 18.5% in the June elections, over 1 million (1,141,000) votes. They thus constituted a strong bulwark against the rapid advance of the Left, which today has become destabilized.
Electoral emergence and momentum of the new party of the Left
Since last June, a new party of the Left has been representing over ¼ of the electorate, after increasing its voter support fivefold in less than three years (from 4.6% or 316,000 votes in October 2009). The significant electoral defeat eventually suffered by the party does not alter the fact that it has undergone a spectacular political transformation.
In Greece, perhaps more than in any other country, the political repercussions of the economic crisis have been momentous. The collapse of the two-party system in the elections of 2012, as a result of three years of tough measures under the terms of the bailout Memorandum, brought to the surface a very deep crisis of representation, leading to sweeping new political alignments. One year later, the developments and transformations taking place within the country’s old and new political parties are continuing at an undiminished pace. In recent times, the formation of some new ‘party’ has been announced on an almost monthly basis, whilst the likelihood of a reappearance in the next elections of the ‘pulverization’ seen in the May elections is returning. However, the real fact that has been obscured is the discrediting and dramatic contraction of the institutional role of the political parties, in the framework of the new political system that is emerging, namely a grossly enfeebled, almost virtual parliamentarianism.