The forthcoming elections are of historical importance and will close the cycle of the Memorandum period in Greece. The elections on 25 January will register the reaction of Greek society to what it has endured for the past five years. The social dissatisfaction that has accumulated during the years of implementation of neoliberal policies has clearly (to every well-intentioned analyst) taken on the form of a strong and broadly diverse surge in electoral support for SYRIZA. The magnitude of this surge looks quite likely – today – to result in an albeit slim parliamentary majority.
The government’s latest failings and the relative deterioration of the general political and economic climate, as recorded in this month’s political barometer, clearly do not benefit the government’s standing, nor of course its electoral support. According to Public Issue’s monthly vote estimate (Figure 1), the voting intention for New Democracy remains unchanged in November (27%), while electoral support for the other government partner has dropped slightly (6%, -1%). In contrast, a sizeable segment of the electorate is increasingly turning to the main opposition party, pinning on the latter their hopes for a change in the government policy being implemented. SYRIZA’s voter support, following a decline in October, shows a resurgence in November (+3%) to reach 38.5%
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.