Kyriakos Mitsotakis is close to a landslide victory in the Greek elections this coming Sunday according to a series of opinion polls that give his New Democracy (ND) party an even larger winning margin than the vote held in May.
Polls suggest that ND will win a comfortable majority in the new Parliament gaining many more than the 151 seats required to govern alone.
The ND party came first in last month’s general election but with insufficient votes for a workable parliamentary majority. He called a new snap vote for June 25 in a bid to obtain an even broader victory and govern alone.
Mitsotakis record appeals to voters as Greek elections loom
Mitsotakis’ conservatives say they increased national output by 29 billion euros ($31.4 billion) during their four years in office. They also claim to have overseen the largest infrastructure upgrade since 1975, including highways, airports, ports and marinas.
He says his government cut 50 taxes, upped the minimum wage, and propped up businesses and individuals through lockdowns and inflation with support packages worth over 57 billion euros. He has promised to levy no new taxes, and vowed to hire 10,000 doctors and nurses for the understaffed public health system.
Mitsotakis has sought to woo the conservative base with a tough line on migration. Last month his government was condemned over footage reportedly showing migrants being forcefully pushed back out to sea and set adrift.
Responding to the latest tragedy of the sinking of a migrant boat off the Peloponnese where more than 500 people are believed to have been killed, Mitsotakis defended the Hellenic Coast Guard.
He expressed his sorrow for the loss of so many lives but also launched an attack against leftist SYRIZA who he said targeted the Coast Guard.
“It was a blatant attempt by SYRIZA, and Mr. Tsipras personally, to target the Coast Guard as being responsible for this tragedy and not say a word about the wretched networks of traffickers who for significant financial gain exploit human suffering and ultimately lead innocent people to a tragic death.”
The Left in Greece is in crisis
Center-left and leftist parties in Greece are in a crisis as opinion polls show that the main opposition in the previous parliament, SYRIZA, is currently hovering at less than 20 percent and socialist PASOK at around 12 percent.
Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras and his leftist alliance Syriza dropped from 30% in 2019 to just 20% this year. His former party colleague and now opponent, Yanis Varoufakis, whose MeRA25 party held nine seats in the previous Greek parliament, fared no better, polling at under 3%, which would not be not enough to remain in parliament.
Tsipras’s sudden rise to power in 2015 as a radical leftwing firebrand was a searing moment for the whole EU, taking Greece to the brink of a euro exit.
“Eight years on, the one-time political iconoclast is facing a more mundane challenge: rescuing his SYRIZA party from the ignominy of being replaced as Greece’s main opposition party,” the Financial Times said.
Contrary to the May election, the one in June will use a majority bonus system, making a majority government more likely. On 8 June 2023, the Supreme Court ruled that 26 political parties, 4 alliances and 2 independents had met the criteria to contest the election, 13 out of which had also participated in the previous election.