Pro-EU party set to lead Greece, according to first poll results
According to the first official exit polls of elections held in Greece today, EU-supportive New Democracy (Nea Dimokratia) party is on the course to lead the new government of the country.
On June 17, about 10 million Greeks were called to the polls for the second time in 6 weeks to vote for a new government, in an election which is crucial not only for the country but also for the future of the 17 members European currency, after elections held in the country on May 6 failed to produce a clear winner.
The two main parties in the running are conservative New Democracy, which backs the EU rescue package and austerity measures to which this is conditioned, and leftist Syriza, anti-austerity party.
Socialist Pasok, the governing party during the first bail-out of the country, is also expected to split voters, in an election unlikely to assign an overall majority.
Official pool results released by Singular Logic, confirmed the unofficial neck to neck results circulated since the early afternoon.
New Democracy is leading with 29.5% of votes, Syriza follows at 27.1% and Pasok holds 12.3%. Independent Greeks, Golden Dawn, Democratic Left and Communist Party of Greece follow.
Earlier in the day, a joint exit poll by five pollsters anticipated New Democracy taking between 27.5% and 30.5% of the vote.
A bonus of 50 seats will be assigned to the party in the lead and a pro-EU coalition government could be formed between New Democracy and Pasok, which would hold 161 seats in the 300-seat parliament.
Election results are watched closely in other European countries, in particular in Italy and Spain, where the negative contagion from an anti-EU result would be felt immediately, triggering bank deposits outflows.
The new Athens government will have to accept austerity conditions attached to the €130bn bailout agreed in March. If this won’t be the case, funds will be cut off driving the country into bankruptcy.
Over the last weeks, opinion polls showed Greeks as overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the euro, despite new tax hikes and cuts in wages and pensions which would have to be implemented in the country according to EU package.