The results of the national elections confirmed the main conclusions extracted from the European elections: they highlighted Kyriakos Mitsotakis as a sovereign of the political scene and indisputable to the center-right party, gave him a clear mandate to form a stand-alone government, whereas they also paved the way for him to implement his liberal policy that more or less had been announced in detail during the pre-election period.
At the same time, the result stabilizes SYRIZA, makes it a strong opposition and highlights Alexis Tsipras as the leader of the broader left-wing. The day after the European elections there were estimates, and in any case the possibility of SYRIZA’s further shrinkage was imminent. While the rise of New Democracy was almost certain, just due to the fact that the victory projection, given the result of the European Elections, was giving it three more points, for SYRIZA the “correction” that was finally made was not certain at all. It is notable that even exit polls were projecting a percentage of 29% -30%, with New Democracy moving to 40% to 42%. Indeed, the data from the first wave of voters up until Sunday afternoon projected overwhelming rates against SYRIZA as well as a difference of more than 15 points, which forced Alexis Tsipras to resign from the presidency of SYRIZA. The final rates, however, canceled this possibility, as SYRIZA’s impressive boost and the difference’s curtailment even by one unit from New Democracy, compared to the percentage of the European elections, were fully credited to Alexis Tsipras and the election campaign he run on those 40 days until the elections.
The result re-establishes a strong bipolarism in the political system and marks the end of a state of emergency due to the reclassifications caused by the memoranda. It is no coincidence that Alexis Tsipras speaks of SYRIZA no longer as a left-wing radical party of protest, but rather credits it as a political party that succeeds PASOK as the carrier of the progressive democratic faction, while it incorporates not only its voters but also its historical consignment. It stays open whether Alexis Tsipras will be restricted to just expanding the SYRIZA political mechanisms with the Progressive Alliance members, who also did well in the elections, or if he will move towards the creation of a new party.
However, the election results save KINAL as well, though its leadership now needs to find a balance between the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, with whom they share a number of common points, and their need to exercise tough opposition, as they will feel SYRIZA threatening to absorb them.
Perhaps the most outstanding sign of the end of this particular political period is the fall of the Golden Dawn, which wasn’t elected to the Parliament, and had, in fact, lost its activist character that kept it alive.
The two smaller parties of Kyriakos Velopoulos and Yanis Varoufakis are respectively much closer to New Democracy and SYRIZA. And while Mr. Varoufakis maintains a critical attitude towards SYRIZA regarding the implementation of the memorandum, Kyriakos Velopoulos was an alternative to the formation of a government with New Democracy, in the case of failure to form a stand-alone government, while as early as on the election night Velopoulos’ agenda – law and order, the issue of Exarchia, the abolition of university asylum and PPC – appears to a large extent to coincide with New Democracy’s agenda.
For KKE not much has changed, as it continues its well-known, decades-long process without surprises and changes, confirming that it is one of the system’s constants./ibna