Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stepped out to vote on Sunday knowing that he is likely to be swept from power in the country’s general election.
Voters were expected to give the anti-austerity Syriza party the parliamentary majority.
The left-wing newcomers have led opinion polls for months and are committed to cancelling many of the terms of Greece’s debt bailout package.
Samaras appealed to undecided voters to keep the country on a stable path.
But the 40-year-old Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has won over many of them.
He promised that Sunday’s vote would see democracy return and the rich pay their share of taxes.
Vowing to force international lenders to write off more of the national debt, his party’s win is likely to send shockwaves through global markets amid fears Greece could be forced to leave the euro.
It is unclear whether Syriza will be able to govern alone or will have to form a coalition with a smaller party.
Reporting from Athens, euronews correspondent Fay Doulgeri said:
“The result is likely to send a strong message to the EU from not only Greeks but from all southern European countries who have experienced austerity over the past few years.”