Greece election: Voters face new election in June as New Democracy seeks majority

Greece's Prime Minister and leader of New Democracy Kyriakos Mitsotakis, center, addresses supporters at the headquarters of his party in Athens, Greece, Sunday, May 21, 2023
Greece's Prime Minister and leader of New Democracy Kyriakos Mitsotakis, center, addresses supporters at the headquarters of his party in Athens, Greece, Sunday, May 21, 2023   -  Copyright  AP
By Sudesh Baniya  with AP, AFP

Greece faces new national elections, despite the ruling party securing around 40% of the vote in Sunday's general election.

Greece faces new national elections as early as 25 June, despite Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' conservative party securing a 20-point margin - the largest in decades - over its opponents in Sunday's general election.

With over 99% of the votes counted, New Democracy had 40.79% of the ballots and 146 seats, five short of a majority. 

Syriza won 20.07% of the vote and 71 seats, while Pasok came in third at 11.46%. Turnout was reported at 61%.

But a new electoral system of proportional representation meant Mitsotakis' vote share still was not enough to secure a majority of the 300 seats in Parliament. He has since confirmed he would not try to form a coalition government.

"I believe that there is essentially no condition for the formation of a government by this Parliament," Mitsotakis said after the general election. "And I certainly want to point out that, if the electoral system that will apply in the next elections was in effect yesterday, the New Democracy would already have a strong parliamentary majority that would exceed 170 seats."

To see how election night unfolded in Athens, and across Greece, see our live blog below:


That's the end of our live blog for today. Thank you for joining us. 

Here's a round-up of the count so far: 

- With more than 95% of the votes counted, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the front runner, whose Now Democracy are ahead of rivals SYRIZA by double the number of seats. 

- A second vote is likely since none of the parties managed to secure an outright majority with 50% of the total votes. 

- We do not have updates from the polling stations set up in 35 countries around the world.  

- The second election is likely to be held in June 25 or July 2, after constitutional procedures are completed. 

- The party with the highest number of seats in the second election, if it happens, will get bonus seats – helping to form a majority government. 


With less than 5% of the votes left to be counted, not much has changed. 

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' conservative party has 145 seats, followed by SYRIZA's tally of 72. 

Now Democracy has surpassed its 2019 tally in terms of number of votes secured. 

The count is expected to be completed soon. 


Early celebrations for New Democracy 

Supporters of Greece's Prime Minister and leader of New Democracy Kyriakos Mitsotakis shout slogans outside the headquarters of his party in Athens, Greece.

AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris

Supporters of New Democracy party celebrated the party's landslide win earlier today at the main polling kiosk at Syntagma square, Athens. 

AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis

Election results "extremely negative" for SYRIZA

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said the election result, that saw his party trail by 20 percentage points behind the ruling Conservatives, was “extremely negative.”

“I called [Kyriakos] Mitsotakis to congratulate him. Battles have both wins and losses. Our collective [party] bodies will convene immediately to assess the results. There will be another battle. We must immediately make all the changes that are needed," he said, speaking from SYRIZA's headquarters.

He also thanked "the thousands who honored us and the members and friends of SYRIZA for fighting this difficult electoral battle.”


Second vote to be "critical and final"

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Progressive Alliance said the new vote will be "critical and final," adding that the electoral cycle could still topple the balance on his side. 

With over 90% of the votes counted, Tsripas' SYRIZA trail leading New Democracy by double figures. 



The European People's Party has congratulated Prime Minister and ruling party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis for the election victory, hailing Greek people for choosing the "guarantor of stability and growth." 


Tsipras congratulates Mitsotakis on phone

Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras congatulated by telephone New Democracy leader and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on his party's victory before the latter addressed the nation, according to SYRZIA sources.



Mitsotakis: "Only strong governments can proceed with bold reforms" 

Kyriakos Mitsotakis has re-affirmed his intent of forming a majority government in his first address since the ballot boxes opened for counting. 

"New Democracy has the endorsement of the Greek people to govern with absolute majority," he said, hinting a second election. 

"Without any doubt the political earthquake makes us to accelerate our path. Only strong governments can proceed with bold reforms," he added. 

Mitsotakis had appealed voters for a "strong and independent government" in his pre-election speeches. 


New Democracy marching towards a win, majority unlikely 

With just 20% of the votes remaining to be counted, New Democracy leads with 145 seats. 

Here's the full breakdown: 

NEW DEMOCRACY: 40.79%, 145 seats
SYRIZA: 20.06%, 72 seats
PASOK: 11.71%, 42 seats
​​KKE: 7.13%, 25 seats
GREEK SOLUTION: 4.48%, 16 seats
Other parties without a parliament seat: 15.80%


Who is Kyriakos Mitsotakis? 

A former banking executive, the 55-year-old Harvard graduate was born into a political dynasty that produced a former prime minister, a former foreign minister and the current Mayor of Athens. Mitsotakis has led New Democracy — Greece's right-of-centre pole for the past half century — since 2016, steering it closer to the political centre with a pro-reform and pro-business agenda.

Elected prime minister in 2019, he has been credited with Greece's successful handling of the pandemic and of two crises with neighbouring Turkey, while overseeing high growth and job creation. But a wiretapping scandal and a railway disaster damaged his ratings.

Nevertheless, Mitsotakis has argued against any post-electoral coalition deal, saying Greece needs a strong government to ensure stability and a return to investment grade for its bonds — ending the last salient reminder of the 2009-2018 financial crisis. Going to a second election would suit him due to the seat bonus, though he's suggested that a third election might be on the cards, if needed.


AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris

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