2007 Greek legislative election

Summary

Parliamentary elections were held in Greece on Sunday, September 16, 2007, to elect the 300 members of the Hellenic Parliament. The leading party for a second term was New Democracy under the leadership of Kostas Karamanlis with 42%, followed by George Papandreou and Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) with 38%. New Democracy managed to secure an absolute but narrow majority of 152 out of 300 seats in parliament. The populist Popular Orthodox Rally entered the parliament for the first time with 10 seats, while the parties of the left, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Syriza, enjoyed a significant increase in their vote share. KKE received 8% of the votes (up from 6%) and won 22 seats (from 12), while Syriza received 5% of the votes (up 2pp) and 14 seats.

2007 Greek legislative election

← 2004 16 September 2007 2009 →

All 300 seats in the Hellenic Parliament
151 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Kostas Karamanlis 2009 (cropped).jpg Papandreou handover cropped.jpg Aleka Papariga - Crop.jpg
Leader Kostas Karamanlis George Papandreou Aleka Papariga
Party ND PASOK KKE
Last election 45.36%, 165 seats 40.55%, 117 seats 5.90%, 12 seats
Seats won 152 102 22
Seat change Decrease13 Decrease15 Increase10
Popular vote 2,994,979 2,727,279 583,815
Percentage 41.84% 38.10% 8.15%
Swing Decrease3.52pp Decrease2.45pp Increase2.25pp

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Alekos Alavanos cropped.jpg GeorgiosKaratzaferis.jpg
Leader Alekos Alavanos Georgios Karatzaferis
Party Syriza LAOS
Last election 3.26%, 6 seats 2.19%, 0 seats
Seats won 14 10
Seat change Increase8 Increase10
Popular vote 361,211 271,764
Percentage 5.04% 3.80%
Swing Increase1.77pp Increase1.61pp

2007 Greek legislative election - Vote Strength.svg
Map of electoral districts, showing the largest party by share of votes. Darker shades indicate stronger vote share.

Prime Minister before election

Kostas Karamanlis
ND

Prime Minister after election

Kostas Karamanlis
ND

The difference of nearly four percentage points between the first two parties resulted in George Papandreou announcing that he would seek reaffirmation of his party leadership, with Evangelos Venizelos and Kostas Skandalidis also declaring candidacy for the post.

BackgroundEdit

  • August 22, 2007: The Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) (6th largest party in the previous elections) announced its electoral alliance with the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).[1]
  • August 29, 2007: Opinion pollers MRB came under criticism from PASOK. Mathematical inconsistencies were alleged, such as response tallies summing up to more than 100%. MRB denied the allegations. MRB's parent company, Spot-Thompson Greece, are New Democracy's advertisers.[citation needed]
  • August 30, 2007: MRB came under more fire as it cancelled publication of its regular biannual "Trends" survey, citing extreme difficulty in obtaining accurate information in the fire-stricken areas. Critics said that this admission automatically rendered previous voting behavior MRB estimates from these areas unreliable;[citation needed] yet, the election results in the prefectures which were devastated by the fires (Ilia, Euboea and Arcadia), were marked by a loss in votes for both the main opposition party and the ruling party.
  • September 1, 2007: The Areios Pagos refused to certify Fofi Gennimata as a candidate for the PASOK nationwide list, citing non-eligibility because Mrs. Gennimata is elected the superprefect of Athens and Piraeus. This was criticised angrily by PASOK as an attempt to politicise the courts.[2]
  • September 2, 2007: The Areios Pagos:
    • refused to include the title of DIKKI in the electoral alliance of SYRIZA claiming that the internal procedures followed by DIKKI were flawed. This was criticised furiously by SYRIZA and DIKKI as inappropriate interference in party political activity on behalf of the courts.[3]
    • refused to allow the New Fascism (Greek: Νέος Φασισμός) party contest the election because of its provocative name.[4]
    • refused to allow the New Salvation Party – Christian Democracy to use the Cross as its logo on the grounds that it is a religious symbol.[4]
    • excluded seven other parties from the elections for failure to pay the required electoral deposit.[4]
  • September 6, 2007: NET state television, in simulcast with the major private TV stations, broadcast the debate among the leaders of ND, PASOK, Communist Party of Greece (KKE), SYRIZA, Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), and Democratic Revival, who were questioned by six reporters in six rounds of questions and follow-ups. Questions and responses were rotated and timed. The debate lasted approximately 2.5 hours and concluded with a two-minute speech by each leader. The debate format, agreed beforehand by the participating parties, met with criticism for being too rigid and formal, too protective of the politicians and not conducive to exhaustive scrutiny of their policies.[citation needed]

Electoral systemEdit

There were concerns that the election could return a hung parliament, mainly due to the recently revised Greek electoral law. Although it preserved the 3% threshold necessary for a party to enter parliament, it decreased the number of seats automatically awarded to the leading party. Parliamentary majority was considered more difficult, especially after the early projection that five parties would cross this threshold for the first time after the metapolitefsi.

According to the electoral law, the first-past-the post party was automatically awarded a bonus of 40 parliamentary seats. The remaining 260 seats were divided among all parties that achieved a minimum 3% nationwide vote tally, strictly in proportion to their polling returns. Since a majority of 151 seats was required, the leading party should secure at least 111 seats (42.7% of 260) in order to be able to form a government. Karamanlis had stated that in the event that no party should manage to achieve a majority, he would seek a new election.[5] Papandreou had vaguely indicated that he may have pursued an alliance with the left, however the SYRIZA and KKE parties had categorically dismissed any possibility of participating in a coalition with any of the major parties.

No opinion polls were allowed to be published after September 1. The polls publicized prior to the election had concluded that:

  • The next Parliament would be a five-party Parliament.
  • New Democracy would hold a smaller lead over PASOK at around 2%.
  • The goal of a workable parliamentary majority hung in the brink, with some pollsters projecting 147–149 and some 151–153 seats for the leading party.

The law traditionally requires that voting begins at "sunrise" and ends at "sunset". In practice this is rounded up to the nearest top of the hour. Voting began at 7 am and concluded at 7 pm. 7 pm was also the time when media outlets publicized their exit polls and issued their predictions. According to SingularLogic, the information technology contractor of the Ministry of the Interior, initial returns would not reach statistical significance before 11 pm and firm estimates might not emerge until after midnight. Voting took place in 20,623 polling stations – mostly schools – throughout the country, each of which catered to 400–500 voters on average.

Opinion pollsEdit

A collection of opinion polls taken before the elections is listed below. According to a law, which was voted by the Greek parliament, publication of opinion polls is forbidden in the fortnight prior to the election date. Therefore, the last day when opinion polls were published was September 1, 2007, and practically all opinion polling firms published their final public reports on August 31, 2007, in time for the evening news.

Pollster Date published ND PASOK KKE Syriza[a] LAOS Other None Unsure
Public Issue/VPRC 14 January 2007 43.0 39.0 7.5 4.0 3.5 3.0
GPO 15 January 2007 35.9 33.7 7.3 4.1 4.4 0.7 4.4 9.3
Kapa Research 10 February 2007 37.5 35.9 7.4 3.6 3.2 12.4
Public Issue/VPRC 11 February 2007 43.0 39.5 7.5 4.0 3.5 2.5
RASS 25 February 2007 36.7 33.9 5.8 2.8 2.7 18.1
Public Issue/VPRC 11 March 2007 43.0 39.5 7.0 4.5 3.5 2.5
Metron Analysis 22 March 2007 37.1 35.9 7.0 3.1 3.6 13.3
ALCO 30 March 2007 33.9 33.4 5.5 2.8 2.2 22.2
Kapa Research 30 March 2007 36.9 35.9 7.0 3.4 3.9 12.9
GPO 2 April 2007 36.0 34.2 7.0 4.0 4.5 0.9 3.9 9.5
Public Issue/VPRC 13 April 2007 42.5 39.0 7.0 4.5 4.0 3.0
MRB 27 April 2007 35.9 33.5 6.7 4.1 3.7 16.1
Public Issue/VPRC 13 May 2007 42.5 39.5 6.5 5.0 3.5 3.0
MRB 24 May 2007 35.7 33.7 6.3 4.4 4.7 15.2
Metron Analysis 2 June 2007 33.4 32.0 6.8 3.6 4.4 19.8
Public Issue/VPRC 8 June 2007 43.0 39.0 7.0 4.5 4.0 2.5
GPO 4 June 2007 35.5 34.5 7.1 4.4 4.9 2.3 3.3 8.0
ALCO 15 June 2007 34.2 34.0 6.3 2.9 3.5 1.6 2.5 14.7
MRB 15 June 2007 36.3 34.0 7.0 4.4 3.7 14.6
Metron Analysis 21 June 2007 36.8 35.8 6.4 3.8 3.8 13.4
Kapa Research 30 June 2007 36.1 35.1 7.6 4.3 4.2 0.6 12.1
Public Issue/VPRC 16 July 2007 42.5 38.5 7.5 4.5 3.5 3.5
GPO 22 August 2007 36.2 34.6 7.1 4.2 4.6 5.8 7.5
Metron Analysis 22 August 2007 31.0 29.5 7.0 4.3 3.5 2.5 6.8 15.4
MRB 23 August 2007 36.8 34.8 6.8 4.5 4.0 1.3 2.8 9.0
Kapa Research 26 August 2007 34.9 33.6 7.2 4.9 4.1 1,6 13.7
ALCO 27 August 2007 35.0 34.2 6.5 3.4 3.6 0.8 4.1 11.8
MRB 28 August 2007 35.2 33.2 7.3 4.4 3.9 2.2 4.3 6.7
Metron Analysis 29 August 2007 29.7 28.1 8.1 4.7 3.6 2.6 10.5 17.4
GPO 29 August 2007 36.0 34.8 7.0 4.5 4.9 2.1 10.7
ALCO 29 August 2007 31.6 30.9 6.2 3.4 3.3 1.8 8.7 15.9
Public Issue/VPRC (vote projection)[b] 31 August 2007 42.0 38.0 8.5 5.0 4.0 2.5
MRB 31 August 2007 35.4 33.3 7.5 4.7 3.7
GPO 31 August 2007 37.4 36.0 7.6 4.2 4.7
ALCO 31 August 2007 31.5 30.8 6.5 3.7 3.6

Exit pollsEdit

The Greek media outlets issued their exit polls at 19:00 local time.[6][7]

Media outlet Polling Firm ND PASOK KKE SYRIZA LAOS Others/
blank/
invalid
ERT Rass 42.2% 38.5% 7.5% 5.0% 3.5% 3.3%
ANT1[c] Metron Analysis 40.4–42.8% 36.8–39.2% 7.4–8.8% 4.8–6.0% 3.2–4.2% 2.8–3.6%
Alpha MRB 40.8–42.8% 37.5–39.5% 7.5–8.5% 4.5–6.0% 3.5–4.5% 2.0–3.5%
Alter ALCO 40.6–42.6% 37.8–39.8% 6.4- 8% 4.6–5.8% 3.5–4.5% 2–3.5%
Mega GPO 41–43% 37.5–39.5% 7.5–9% 4.5–6% 3.5-4% 2.5-3%
Skai V-PRC 41–43% 36–38% 7.5–9.5% 5–6% 3.5–4.5% 2.5–3.5%
Star Kapa Research 41.9% 38.4% 7.7% 5.3% 4.0% 2.7%
Average: 41.9% 38.2% 7.9% 5.3% 3.8% 3.0%
Mega[d] GPO 42.0%
153 seats
37.8%
101 seats
8.2%
22 seats
5.0%
13 seats
4.0%
11 seats
3.0%
-

ResultsEdit

 
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
New Democracy2,994,97941.84152–13
Panhellenic Socialist Movement2,727,27938.10102–15
Communist Party of Greece583,7508.1522+10
Syriza361,1015.0414+8
Popular Orthodox Rally271,8093.8010+10
Ecologist Greens75,5021.050New
Democratic Revival57,1670.800New
Union of Centrists20,8400.2900
Communist Party of Greece (Marxist–Leninist)17,5550.2500
Radical Left Front11,8430.1700
United Anti-Capitalist Left10,6040.1500
Marxist–Leninist Communist Party of Greece8,1370.1100
Liberal Alliance7,4980.100New
Liberal Party3,0990.0400
Organization for the Reconstruction of the Communist Party of Greece2,4730.0300
Fighting Socialist Party of Greece2,1090.0300
Greek Ecologists1,7400.020New
Light – Truth – Justice9700.010New
Democratic Universal Hellas100.000New
Regional Urban Development50.000New
Independents5360.0100
Total7,159,006100.003000
Valid votes7,159,00697.33
Invalid/blank votes196,0202.67
Total votes7,355,026100.00
Registered voters/turnout9,918,91774.15
Source: Ministry of the Interior

By regionEdit

Region ND
(%)
PASOK
(%)
KKE
(%)
SYRIZA
(%)
LAOS
(%)
Achaea 36.86 45.97 7.16 4.91 2.47
Aetolia-Akarnania 43.56 43.70 6.25 2.86 1.99
Argolida 48.90 37.44 4.83 3.53 3.14
Arkadia 46.65 38.67 5.36 4.03 3.15
Arta 47.34 38.71 6.69 3.94 1.60
Athens A 40.16 29.96 10.52 9.27 5.39
Athens B 35.27 34.05 12.11 8.94 5.04
Attica 39.25 36.27 9.24 5.80 5.82
Boeotia 40.98 40.45 7.92 4.40 3.54
Cephalonia 39.29 37.15 13.15 3.89 3.12
Chalkidiki 46.37 38.11 5.43 3.81 3.42
Chania 38.47 44.71 6.25 4.97 2.56
Chios 43.82 41.72 5.90 4.49 1.70
Corfu 40.06 36.44 14.89 4.04 2.08
Corinthia 43.55 41.51 4.37 4.18 3.58
Dodecanese 41.68 46.73 4.20 3.04 2.84
Drama 48.74 37.26 4.41 3.18 4.03
Elis 42.05 46.54 4.70 3.02 1.99
Euboea 40.61 42.02 7.22 4.28 3.35
Evros 48.05 39.76 4.33 2.27 3.39
Evrytania 44.61 45.64 3.35 2.40 2.22
Florina 48.17 39.26 5.28 2.89 2.55
Grevena 45.48 39.72 7.55 2.48 2.63
Imathia 42.83 39.04 7.58 3.15 4.64
Ioannina 43.38 38.78 7.99 4.69 2.42
Heraklion 33.54 54.63 4.40 4.35 1.33
Karditsa 48.02 37.81 7.41 2.86 2.14
Kastoria 54.32 32.44 4.09 3.75 3.32
Kavala 45.26 39.43 6.26 3.47 3.27
Kilkis 46.87 36.99 7.27 2.37 4.33
Kozani 46.66 39.78 5.64 3.00 2.12
Laconia 55.51 31.63 4.85 3.05 3.17
Larissa 43.46 36.82 10.06 3.85 3.53
Lasithi 36.70 52.71 3.49 4.19 1.09
Lefkada 42.52 37.59 10.74 5.17 1.64
Lemnos 39.42 37.68 13.99 3.97 2.48
Magnesia 43.32 36.39 9.36 4.31 3.63
Messenia 52.29 32.16 6.18 4.63 2.82
Naxos 45.50 37.87 5.58 5.31 2.77
Pella 47.35 39.31 4.59 2.32 4.26
Phocis 47.99 34.68 7.03 3.77 3.70
Phthiotis 49.58 36.67 5.22 3.22 3.40
Pieria 48.59 37.66 5.35 2.76 3.63
Piraeus A 42.34 32.57 8.95 6.76 5.24
Piraeus B 31.40 37.93 14.55 6.41 5.52
Preveza 45.98 38.88 7.66 3.83 1.78
Rethymno 46.50 43.84 3.39 3.59 1.12
Rhodope 45.75 45.90 2.86 1.94 1.57
Samos 37.99 32.54 18.13 5.21 2.62
Serres 52.82 33.10 5.01 2.93 3.96
Thesprotia 45.86 42.49 4.39 3.11 2.12
Thessaloniki A 37.38 34.63 10.31 6.12 6.22
Thessaloniki B 44.82 33.77 8.14 4.14 5.35
Trikala 45.68 39.27 8.49 2.75 2.03
Xanthi 39.97 48.90 3.53 2.51 2.76
Zakynthos 38.10 42.34 10.51 4.39 2.18

AftermathEdit

At 01:00 on September 17, 2007, PASOK leader George Papandreou conceded defeat and Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis thanked the electorate for granting him and his party a renewed term in office. Papandreou also stated that he will seek his party's direct reaffirmation in his leadership, and Evangelos Venizelos, PASOK's informal #2, declared himself "present" in this process. Papandreou went on and retained his leadership.[8]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Most of the earlier polls refer to Synaspismos, part of the Syriza coalition.
  2. ^ Public Issue/VPRC noted that their report was a prediction based on the time-series of opinion polls they had conducted.
  3. ^ Revised exit poll presented at 20:30
  4. ^ Statistical projection based on official returns, presented at 21:30 local time – claimed margin of error: 0.2%

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 22/8/2007 DIKKI press release Archived 2008-01-22 at archive.today
  2. ^ 3/9/2007 article by Phileleftheros
  3. ^ 2/9/2007 DIKKI press release Archived 2007-09-20 at archive.today
  4. ^ a b c "Σε ποιους «έδειξε πόρτα» ο Αρειος Πάγος" Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, in Eleftheros Typos, 3 September 2007
  5. ^ New general elections to be called if ruling party fails to secure majority in parliament: Greek PM
  6. ^ Exit poll results from in.gr
  7. ^ Exit poll results Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine from the Ethnos daily newspaper
  8. ^ Antenna news Archived 2008-02-26 at the Wayback Machine, Θέμα ηγεσίας στο ΠΑΣΟΚ (leadership issue in PASOK), Retrieved 2007-09-17.

Further readingEdit

  • Dinas, Elias (2008) 'Greek general election of 2007: you cannot lose if your opponent cannot win,' West European Politics 31: 600–607.
  • Gemenis, Kostas (2008) 'The 2007 Parliamentary Election in Greece,' Mediterranean Politics 13: 95–101.
  • Gemenis, Kostas (2009) 'A Green comeback in Greece? The Ecologist Greens in the 2007 parliamentary election[permanent dead link],' Environmental Politics 18: 128–134.
  • Karamichas, John (2007) 'The impact of the summer 2007 forest fires in Greece: recent environmental mobilizations, cyber-activism and electoral performance,' South European Society and Politics 12: 521–33.
  • Patrikios, Stratos; Karyotis, Georgios (2008), "The Greek parliamentary election of 2007", Electoral Studies, 27 (2): 356–359, doi:10.1016/j.electstud.2007.12.004

External linksEdit

  • Ta Nea/Athens News election website Archived 2009-04-23 at the Wayback Machine (in English)