Almost ten million Greeks are elegible to cast their ballots today in a poll that could reflect public discontent with the major parties and benefit the smaller ones.
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis called the snap election confident his economic record would secure easy victory.
Casting his ballot he said: “citizens will speak today with their vote. We respect all citizens on this great day.”
Recent devastating fires in Greece have provoked widespread fury among the population and criticism of the government’s response to the disaster that killed sixty-five people.
But according to the most recent opinion polls the Socialist party PASOK led by Georges Papandreou has not been able to capitalize on the government’s dilemma. Karamanlis’s conservatives were leading by one or two percentage points.
Papandreou, like his conservative counterpart Karamanlis are heirs to prominent political dynasties.
Neither is expected to win an outright majority in parliament.
Among the small parties that appear set to make headway in the current political climate is the far-right LA.O.S. which is expected to enter parliament in Athens for the first time after todays vote.