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.
All 300 seats in the Hellenic Parliament
151 seats needed for a majority
Map of electoral districts, showing the largest party by share of votes. Darker shades indicate stronger vote share.
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.
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. 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 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.
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.
|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|
|Media outlet||Polling Firm||ND||PASOK||KKE||SYRIZA||LAOS||Others/|
|Panhellenic Socialist Movement||2,727,279||38.10||102||–15|
|Communist Party of Greece||583,750||8.15||22||+10|
|Popular Orthodox Rally||271,809||3.80||10||+10|
|Union of Centrists||20,840||0.29||0||0|
|Communist Party of Greece (Marxist–Leninist)||17,555||0.25||0||0|
|Radical Left Front||11,843||0.17||0||0|
|United Anti-Capitalist Left||10,604||0.15||0||0|
|Marxist–Leninist Communist Party of Greece||8,137||0.11||0||0|
|Organization for the Reconstruction of the Communist Party of Greece||2,473||0.03||0||0|
|Fighting Socialist Party of Greece||2,109||0.03||0||0|
|Light – Truth – Justice||970||0.01||0||New|
|Democratic Universal Hellas||10||0.00||0||New|
|Regional Urban Development||5||0.00||0||New|
|Source: Ministry of the Interior|
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.