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).
Why public opinion has not been receptive to the ‘theory of the two extremes’ According to a recent survey by Public Issue (November 2013), 6 in 10 respondents (61%) regard Golden Dawn as a party with ‘extreme views’, compared to only 1 out of 10 (11%) in the case of SYRIZA.
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.