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Greek Elections: Exit Polls Show Expected SYRIZA Win With Larger Margin [Update]

Exit_poll1Initial results from exit polls show that Greeks gave the leftist SYRIZA party a margin of over 12 points against New Democracy in today’s general elections. Exit poll figures show that SYRIZA can form a government.
The first results give SYRIZA the edge over the ruling New Democracy conservatives led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his coalition partner PASOK.
If the results hold up, it would be a historic moment for Greece with a far-left party triumphing. SYRIZA leader Tsipras had been hoping for a margin big enough to form a leftist government without having to cooperate with a smaller party. He may be able to achieve that later in the evening.
So far, exit polls show SYRIZA at 35.5-39.5%, New Democracy at 23-27%, Golden Dawn and “To Potami” edging for third place at 6.4-8% each, the Greek Communist Party (KKE) at 4.7-5.7%, PASOK at 4.2-5.2%, Independent Greeks (ANEL) at 3.5-4.5%, Socialist Democrats Movement (KIDISO) at 2.2-3.2%, LAOS at 0.6-1.6%, ANTARSYA at 0.6-1.6%, Greens/DIMAR 0.3-0.7%.
SYRIZA had been leading steadily in opinion polls even before snap elections were announced. The leftist party won based on a campaign stressing the importance of a debt write-off and ending the austerity measures imposed to Greece by the Troika of its international creditors. They also accused the New Democracy/PASOK coalition for bringing Greece to the worst humanitarian and economic crisis since the German occupation.
New Democracy based its election campaign on economic and political stability, while stressing the importance of maintaining ties with Greece’s European partners and keeping the country in the Eurozone. They accused SYRIZA of populism and promises that were impossible to keep. They also warned voters that the leftist party will lead Greece out of the Eurozone and into economic abyss. Both parties promised tax reduction.
SYRIZA was polling roughly between 27% and 33%, while New Democracy ranged from 22% to 27%. Four parties rallied for third place, the crucial third party that could potentially ally with the winner. “To Potami,” Golden Dawn, PASOK and the Greece ‘s Communist Party (KKE), all ran at around 6% in polls.
The new populist, anti-politician “To Potami” movement, which had been as high as third in pre-election polls, was showing a disappointing 5-7%, tied with the KKE communists. Then came the Independent Greeks at 3-4%.
The polls coincided with the second round run-off of local elections, with both races contentious and Samaras warning that SYRIZA would plunge the country back into chaos just as he said he had put it on the road to recovery and brought political stability.
But he couldn’t convince Greeks enough that the big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings he implemented on demand of the Troika in return for 240 billion euros ($330.7 billion) in two bailouts was the only way out of a crisis.
That had been largely caused by the ruling parties taking turns for four decades with wild overspending and runaway patronage that bankrupted the country.
Samaras had argued the EU polls shouldn’t be a referendum on his government, especially since he said Greece had reached a primary surplus of 1.5 billion euros and last month floated a 3-billion-euro bond, the first since a previous PASOK government in 2010 first reached out for a bailout with the economy on the precipice of disaster.

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