Greece Exit Polls: New Democracy Winning a Near Tie

June 17th, 2012
in econ_news

Econintersect:  The election in Greece today was held because no party received a majority in the early May election and, following the election, no coalition could greek-flagSMALLbe formed among the many fractious parties to get a 50%+ majority in parliament.  The result in June appears to be more of the same.  Exit polls reported by the Associated Press (see Washington Post article) indicate two parties, the center-right pro-business New Democracy Party (ND) and The Coalition of the Radical Left or Syriza Party each received between 25% and 31% of the vote.  CNN has said that exit polls they have seen indicate that ND would emerge with a margin of victory between 0.2% and 1.6%.

Follow up:

In the election held in May the final results had the same two parties at the top of the leader board with  18.85% for ND and 16.78% for Syriza.  So both parties have increased their share of the total vote by more than 50% and the margin between them has likely shrunk.   There were seven parties that received more than 6% of the vote each in the May 6 election.  The number of parties receiving enough votes to elect MPs (members of parliament) this time has not yet been estimated.

Whether one of the two leading parties can garner enough of the remaining 1/3 of the elected parliamentarians to put them over the required 50% needed to form a government remains to be seen.  Whichever party gains the larger vote total when the official results are certified will get a head start on that effort with the addition of 50 at-large MPs.  According to CNN (which gave the exit poll edge to ND):

Sunday's vote was called after Greece's leading parties failed to form a government after earlier elections in May. Polls closed at 7 p.m. (noon ET), and exit polls indicated New Democracy would win between 28.6 to 30% of the vote, compared to Syriza's 27.5 to 28.4%.

The exit polls had a sampling error of 3 percentage points. But if those figures are borne out by the actual balloting, that would give New Democracy 127 seats in the 300-seat parliament -- not enough to form a government outright, leading to another round of coalition talks.

Using the CNN numbers, ND would only need 24 additional votes to form a coalition government.  Econintersect estimates that there will be close to 100 MPs from third and lower ranked parties.  Thus the formation of a coalition government seems likely.

John Lounsbury


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