Today is the second Greek general election of the year, following the May election that produced a Parliament unable to agree on a coalition government. Needless to say, the election has great importance beyond Greece, in terms of whether a New Democracy government that will continue with the current bailout agreement emerges or a Syriza government that will reject the bailout agreement.

Greece has a law banning opinion polls from being conducted in the final couple of weeks before an election, so the final polls were all conducted at the tail end of May, two weeks ago. Since then there have been rumours of secret polls showing ND ahead, which illustrates one of the arguments against such bans – the void created by banning proper polls is just filled by rumour and leaks. That aside, the final Greek polls are listed below.

Date ND Syriza Pasok Anel KKE XA DIMAR
Metron 31/05/12 27 26 13 7 5 5 8
Marc/Alpha 31/05/12 29 27 14 7 6 5 6
Kapa* 31/05/12 30 27 12 6 7 6 5
Rass* 30/05/12 30 27 14 7 6 4 6
MRB 30/05/12 28 26 15 7 5 5 7
DataRC 30/05/12 28 26 14 7 6 5 6
Global Link* 30/05/12 27 24 13 8 7 7 7
Alco* 30/05/12 28 25 14 7 6 5 6
Public Issue 30/05/12 26 32 14 6 6 5 8
Pulse RC 29/05/12 27 27 15 8 6 6 6
VPRC 29/05/12 27 30 13 8 6 5 8
LAST GENERAL ELECTION 2012 19 17 13 11 9 7 6

*Greek pollsters differ on whether or not they re-percentage their figures to exclude don’t knows and won’t says. The polls marked with asterisks were not originally re-percentaged, but I have done it manually to make them comparable.

As you can see, two weeks ago the polls were tending to show a small lead for New Democracy, a reverse from the period straight after the May election when Syriza surged ahead for a while. The two polls that show a Syriza lead, VPRC and PublicIssue, apparently have methodological differences involving using time series analysis rather than political weighting – I won’t pretend to understand them given that the technical papers are, literally, all Greek to me.

A final consideration is the Greek electoral system awards an extra 50 seats to the largest party, so while ND and Syriza are very close in the polls, one will emerge with at least 50 seats more than the other.

175 Responses to “Greek general election”

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  1. would anyone know any place where I can watch the returns, preferably in english? I didn’t take Modern Greek.

    Also, I’m curious, does Gove have the support of the people when he kicks off this blood feud with Leveson? It sounds like a politically unwise idea.

  2. The leads are very slight and within MOE.

    Although not a coin flip, it’s probably more akin to a coin flip with a weighted coin. Either result is possible, one is more likely than the other.

    It’ll be a good test of the methodology as the 2 polls using a different methodology are predicting a different result.

    If Syriza wins by 3, it’ll be a pat on the back for those companies, If ND wins by 3 it’ll discredit that methodology, in between and both camps will put it down to MOE on sampling.

    Of course it might be down to last minute changes of mind in the polling station, fuelled by ouzo and a huge sense of nationalistic pride after last nights football result but the perception will be that one of the two methodologies is “right”. Can you be done for being drunk in charge of a ballot paper?

    I suspect that weighting by past vote will have a stronger effect than if the last poll was 5 years ago, people might forget who they voted for in a humdrum election 5 years ago, in an election that will affect the countries immediate future an being one month ago? I suspect false recall will be a lot lower (although I’m sure some people will deliberately lie to the interviewer, particularly if they voted Golden Dawn)

  3. For those wondering, ANEL is short for Anexartitoi Hellines, or ??????????? ???????, the Independent Greeks, KKE is the Communist Party, XA are Chrysi Avgi, or ????? ????, Golden Dawn, and DIMAR are Dimokratiki Aristera, or ??????????? ????????.

  4. Bother. It took my Greek out. A GCSE wasted there.

  5. In chats with Greek friends,they were anti-austerity but more scared of leaving Europe as `already drugs are running out in hospitals`…Private polling apparently indicating ND on 29 and Syriza on 27,so it would be interesting to see if that`s borne out.

  6. I was under the impression, from coverage of the previous election, that Syriza are very unlikely to get the 50 extra seats because they are a coalition of smaller parties not a single party. They would have to change their constitution to be considered a party. Have they do that? If not, surely New Democracy will definitely get the extra seats.

  7. Does anybody know when the results are formally announced?

  8. The extra seats only goes to the party which ‘wins’ the election as I understand it. IF ND comes second they don’t get the extra seats as they didn’t ‘win’. If Syriza wins

    ‘For the Greek legislative election, June 2012, the SYRIZA re-registered as a single party instead of as a coalition, in order to receive the 50 “bonus” seats given to the largest polling party under the Greek electoral system.[35]’ wiki

  9. As I understand things there will definately not be a third election, thanks to the state of the country, it is out of money. Therefore this is even more crucial.

    Then again seeing as the contagion has already spread beyond its borders, it might not matter so much to the EZ.

  10. TOP HAT.
    Kyrie Eleison for taking out your greek.

  11. James J

    According to the Wikipedia article on SYRIZA:

    For the Greek legislative election, June 2012, the SYRIZA re-registered as a single party instead of as a coalition, in order to receive the 50 “bonus” seats given to the largest polling party under the Greek electoral system

    By the way the Wiki article on today’s elections (from which I suspect Anthony got his pre-adjustment poll data) is here:,_June_2012

    Whoever did the updates for the last election was quite quick when the results came through. I’ll see if there is anything on Google Politics too.

  12. “Polls close at 7pm (5pm BST). Unofficial exit polls will follow shortly afterwards, with official exit polls at 9.30pm.” According to the Telegraph.

    That would be official exit polls at 7.30 pm here?

    Tony Blair on [email protected]: he was definitely interested in being EU president last time the possibility was broached.

  13. @American Bystander

    Gove has been elected by the people and has been anointed by Rupert Murdoch. Leveson is just appointed by the Queen.The last Kings who believed they were superior to Parliament were a) hung b) exiled.

  14. Wolf

    Kings weren’t hanged (though judging by Henry VIII’s armour, they liked to suggest they were hung).

    They were beheaded

  15. WOLF



    @”In chats with Greek friends,they were anti-austerity but more scared of leaving Europe ”

    That’s the impression I get from the tv news voxpops.

    I wonder if they are really going to back Tsipras’ belief that Merkel will back down?

    ND are also promising efforts to get more flexible bailout conditions-but not repudiating the whole deal from day 1.

  17. WOLF

    Did you read this ? :

    “Gove defends freedom of speech and Leveson throws a wobbly, possibly not seeing the irony”

    Ian Martin

    :-) :-)

  18. Official results are here{“cls”:”main”,”params”:{}}

    and are very quick in being released. Exit polls available at 5.00pm BST and was quite accurate in May

  19. [Snipped reply to snipped comment – AW]

    ND bang on to win in Greece according to the bookies. Odds have been getting shorter all weekend.

  20. Whatever the merits of Gove vs Leveson,it is interesting that the news trickled out once Cameron has given his evidence.The Tory party clearly didn`t want to anger Leveson and make things difficult for it`s leader at the court.

    On a different note,if someone such as Tony Blair,a man of considerable stature with a record in helping to sort out difficult issues(Irish problem) was President of European Union,it wouldn`t be the never ending problem it has become.

  21. AMBER

    @”The public will remember ”

    I don’t think “the public” is relevant.

    What the Sun says about voting in a GE is all about how that impacts the readers of The Sun. Presumably they ( unlike members of the public in general) will remember that the Sun has advised it’s readers to vote Labour in the past.

  22. Amber
    I don’t think there is any evidence that the press (any of them) swung votes significantly at GEs. If that were the case, we would expect to see above MOE swings in polls following their screaming headlines.

    If someone puts in a headline’will the last person turn the lights out’ or some such, it merely reinforces what voters have already concluded.

    If voters think poor EM is a geek and Clegg and Cameron are con men, that’s what they will think.

    So actually I agree with you!!!


    @”On a different note,if someone such as Tony Blair,a man of considerable stature with a record in helping to sort out difficult issues(Irish problem) was President of European Union,it wouldn`t be the never ending problem it has become.”

    I see he said they need a “grand plan”.

    I think he means his “grand plan” rather than their “grand plan(s) “.

  24. Given Crudas` interview yesterday about Labour `s manifesto being working-class oriented,it would be quite interesting for a paper with a predominant working class readership to endorse the Chipping Norton set for the next election.

  25. @COLIN
    `I think he means his “grand plan” rather than their “grand plan(s) “.`

    He`s clearly auditioning and seems to have a plan…The others are just running around like headless chickens.

  26. I’ve pruned various Gove/Leveson comments – as I’ve previously said, it’s a topic best avoided unless you are very strictly sticking to polling evidence on it, as past experience suggests it is a topic that some contributors here are incapable of discussing in a non-partisan manner.

  27. @ Colin

    I don’t think “the public” is relevant.
    LOL :-)

    I rather think they are.

  28. Amber

    The voting “public” -2010 GE 30 million.

    The Sun readership-7.5 million adults.

  29. @ Anthony

    There’s plenty of polling which backs up my moderated post (except polls about Gove because nobody has yet cared enough to ask specific polling questions).

    A majority thought Hunt was ‘in it together’ with NI via Adam Smith & should resign.

    A majority think that banks should be much more tightly regulated.

    A majority think that politicians got too close to the Murdoch press; & – whether folks here think it’s fair or not – David Cameron’s Tories were the ones holding the grenade when the music stopped.

    I did choose to express myself in a rather colourful way, but I do think that polling evidence underpins what I wrote. I apologise for writing in a way that might provoke a ‘car-crash’ of partisan responses, though.

  30. @COLIN

    The average Sun readership is 2.5 million though

    Is 7.5 million the number of people who read the Sun atleast once in a year?

  31. @ Colin

    The voting “public” -2010 GE 30 million.

    The Sun readership-7.5 million adults.
    The voting ‘public’ who watched Sky, BBC & other media coverage of the Sun’s attacks on Gordon Brown – probably about 29.9 million.

  32. IIRC ‘readership’ assumes that more than one person sees each copy actually sold. Not sure exactly how many. In my household they would have to count the budgie and the goldfish as well to make up my quota.

  33. In defence of Gordon Brown and his denial that he permitted “brirffing” against Blair and others.

    How do we, or the press, “know” about these things? Mostly from arch spinners like Campbell, Mandelson and, yes, Blair. I have always thought that Brown was far more briefed against than briefing.

    As Amber has pointed out, the voters HAVE made their mind up about Murdoch and Cameron and Hunt. The polls, including voting intention, tell their tale. And far Gove or any other Murdochians to suggest that Murdoch is a great man and that Leveson was set up as an attack on freedom of speech, it’s pretty laughable.

    Leveson was asked to run the inquiry. For a government minister to attack the inquiry before it even makes any judgements or suggestions is highly dubious.

    A legitimate polling question is how long will any of it matter…i.e. can the Government and specifically Cameron and Osborne recover, well, it depends as many have said upon the economy. Althoutgh Osborne’s chances of ever being PM seem damagaed beyond repair (as have Gove’s, I suspect).

  34. Out of interest, I posted a link from a Mirror story on the last thread which confirms that James Murdoch, R Brookes and a number of other senior NI executives were given company iphones that haven’t had call records given to Leveson (or the the police I think).

    I’m sticking to my thoughts that the NI scandal has a lot further to run and will do far more polling damage, largely because Leveson has had to steer clear of anything that might be covered by criminal investigations.

    That’s what makes the revelations to date so bad – they aren’t even the serious ones.

  35. Good luck to whoever “wins” the Greek election. IMO this is definitely one to lose.

  36. @SMUKESH

    “On a different note,if someone such as Tony Blair,a man of considerable stature with a record in helping to sort out difficult issues(Irish problem) was President of European Union,it wouldn`t be the never ending problem it has become.”

    Excuse me while I clean my monitor. It’s covered with tea.

  37. @Alec

    It may or may not be relevant that there was an ipad, along with a laptop in the bag recovered by police from a bin at the Chealsea Harbour development in July last year.

  38. BBC News (online)

    “1655: Chris Morris-News, BBC Europe correspondent, reports: A few minutes until polls close and we’re getting indications that it could be very close between the top two parties, New Democracy and Syriza. Could be a long night…”

  39. Apparently the Ipsos Mori poll on Scots view on marriage talked about on the last thread is ‘flawed’.

    Bad methodology? Outlier? No…

    h ttp://

    “But a church spokesman said asking whether people support the right to do something solicits a positive response.”


    I understand that they probably mean it was because of it being an “agree” question, but that phrasing tickled me. In fact, looking at the question it was “to what extent do you agree or disagree”, is that less likely to lead people to saying agree than just a straight “do you agree…” question?

  40. @Smukesh

    The problem with the EU isn’t the identity of the President, it’s that most major decisions affecting the EU as a whole are not made at EU level. They are still made by horse-trading between constituent nations, the largest of whom all refuse to sacrifice a degree of control for the greater good. And as is well-known, the name for a horse designed by committee is ‘camel’.

    The UK has been particularly guilty of this, but France and Germany have also been major blocks to progress whether on EU financial matters or on agricultural reforms.

    The problem in the UK is that Little Englander mentality is still widespread, so that addressing these issues in a logical and coherent manner is beyond any politician who does not want a pasting in the press and a drubbing in the polls.

  41. @ALEC

    I am not as confident as you,especially given that Sue Akers of Metropolitan police who has done sterling work is retiring in August.

  42. Early exit polls showing Syriza and ND neck and neck as expected

  43. @Billy Bob – that’s why Charlie Brookes is facing charges.

  44. Telegarph – “First exit polls from Greek state TV show it is neck and neck. With 75pc of polling stations accounted for, New Democracy is forecast to win between 27.5pc and 30.5pc, and Syriza 27pc to 30pc. In other words, this a cliffhanger that could drag into the wee hours.”

  45. Opinion polls are all very well, but what if…

    “Pollster Stratos Fanaras saying a part of voters-mainly younger people who came to vote in last 2hrs-refused to answer to exit polls” (Guardian)

  46. Exit polls

  47. @Alec

    If you look at the full exit poll breakdown, while it is close pro bailout parties seem to be ahead overall. Remember also if ND does win, they get a 50 seat bonus which Syriza will not get. ND + Pasok + Independent Greeks are set to get more votes than Syriza +United Left +KKE.

  48. So what is the likely outcome of the Greek election. The independent right of centre party appears slightly ahead, but my reading of the exit polls, is that left of centre parties may be the ones to form a coalition. Will these be anti-austerity or pro-renegotiation with EZ countries ?

    `Excuse me while I clean my monitor. It’s covered with tea`

    Hope your lap-top is okay…Atleast you din`t break your television screen as I did while watching the Leveson enquiry. :)

  50. Italian CdlS reports rightish party ahead by 3% at 1700.

    I see there has been pruning so for light relief, for the first time for ages, i feel proud of being British as Nalbandian is disqualified for disgraceful violent behaviour.

    Not interested in all the jingoism of the past weeks, but very proud of the referee in this case.

    I hope there were no British in the crowd who booed the decision but, sadly, my opinion of middle class tennis crowds has become that of what I previously thought of football crowds.

    On topic, I would love to know if there is any truth in what I just opined.

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