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. More seriously, what is remarkable about this averted crisis is that it is nothing of the kind. There is no chance that Greece can meet the bailout terms, whoever wins.

    Putting aside the moral rights and wrongs of who created the mess and who should pay the price, no country can sustain a full decade of stringent austerity and still remain with debts at 120% of GDP even if economic growth projections are optimistic. It’s laughable to attempt to imagine this is remotely possible.

    So the EZ leaders can imagine that they have seen off the crisis, markets will rise tomorrow, but by the end of the week/some time soon we’ll be back facing defaults and Euro exits as these people realise nothing has changed.

    As Ben Brogan says in the Telegraph tonight – “Europe’s depression is spreading, the result of a triple-barrelled fiscal, monetary, and regulatory shock – the worst policy errors since 1931.”

    The bad debts are still there, there is no growth and no solution in sight, and all the dithering and failure to comprehend the problem means that any remaining solution gets more painful by the day.

  2. GREEK GE
    ALMOST FINAL RESULT (95%)

    ND 29.7 – 129 seats (May: 18.9+2.6 Dem.All. – 108)
    SYRIZA 26.8 – 71 (16.8 – 52)
    PASOK 12.4 – 33 (13.2 – 41)
    IND. GREEKS 7.5 – 20 (10.6 – 33)
    GOLDEN DAWN 6.9 – 18 (7.0 – 21)
    DEM. LEFT 6.2 – 17 (6.1- 19)
    COMM. KKE 4.5 -12 (8.5 – 26)
    Others 6.0 (16.4)
    The most probable government coalition: ND+PASOK = 162 seats. Strong polarization ND-SYRIZA at the detriment of all other parties except of DL. Collapse of Communists and minor extra-parliamentary parties. Very strong showing of SYRIZA despite its defeat: it had just 4.6% in 2009, together with the “Renovating Board” that in 2010 formed the DL.

    FRENCH GE – RUNOFF
    SP and satellites : 315 seats (OM is at 289)
    Greens: 18
    Left Front: 13
    TOTAL LEFT: 346
    UMP and satellites: 226
    Center: 2
    NF: 2 (but not Marine LePen herself)
    Other: 1
    The landslide is finally here. The worst result for the right after 1981 (In 1988 it had 270 seats and in 1997, 250). OM for the Socialists even without the Greens and the Lefties, which happened only in 1981.

  3. Actually I think a SYRIZA win might have got the Euro elite to face reality rather than stagger on to next week’s crisis and throwing yet more cash into the financial black hole that is today’s capitalism. Also as Colin points out it would be quite funny.

    It’s the turnout that I find so odd. This was supposed to be the most important Greek election since Pericles etc – yet we’re looking at turnout of around 62%. Though a drop in blank/spoilt votes might make the valid votes only a point or so below May’s figure (turnout 65.1%), it’s still amazing given that the previous two were 74.1% and 70.9% in less dramatic times.

    Turnout seems higher the bigger the SYRIZA vote, though that is probably mainly a function of the urban/rural split. ND + Pasok should have majority of about 12, which might be quite vulnerable.

    The most disappointing thing is Golden Dawn retaining its vote of just under 7%. I had hoped that after its behaviour in the campaign that it mighty have slipped back below the 3% threshold, if only because its vote was a protest. But it seems to have struck a chord with some Greeks and to be here to stay.

    Thanks to GrahamBC for the website reference by the way – very addictive.

  4. @ Billy Bob

    “A PS majority in parliament and senate must give Hollande a degree of authority, though he lacks the full two thirds majority required for constitutional/EU treaty changes.

    Marine Le Pen did not get a seat, though her neice did… the eurosceptic far-right FN has caused all sorts of problems for UMP.”

    Maybe Google Elections is off but right now with 99.9% of the vote counted, the Socialists only have 273 seats. I don’t think that is a majority of the National Assembly. Were the exit polls off or is Google Elections off or are there seats left to be counted that would give the Socialists a majority?

  5. @Virgilio

    The best result in Assembly elections for the Socialists in the history of the Fifth Republic, I believe. Hollande now has a supportive legislature and a strong mandate from the French people; an auspicious start to his Presidency. Real, imposing, almost frightening, challenges now lie ahead, but is there another politician in Europe in a better position to lead now?

    Let’s look at Europe’s major powers. The UK is governed by a deeply unpopular coalition that is losing influence in Europe by the day, Germany is growing ever more lukewarm towards Merkel’s coalition, Italy is presided over by a technocrat, Spain is growing progressively more enfeebled economically, Greece stands on the edge of a political and economic precipice and Holland is in the midst of what seems to be a political impasse.

    I’d say Francois Hollande has a real chance of becoming the dominant political figure in Europe now, leading as he does one of the continent’s major economic powerhouses and possessing real political strength and credibility on the back of the recent French presidential and assembly elections. If he succeeds, and I wish him all the luck in the world, what an opportunity for the European Left and what a chance we now have of shaping a new and better Europe.

    No pressure, Francois! lol

  6. @ Roger Mexico

    “It’s the turnout that I find so odd. This was supposed to be the most important Greek election since Pericles etc – yet we’re looking at turnout of around 62%. Though a drop in blank/spoilt votes might make the valid votes only a point or so below May’s figure (turnout 65.1%), it’s still amazing given that the previous two were 74.1% and 70.9% in less dramatic times.”

    I thought that voting weas compulsory in Britain too.

    @ Virgilio

    “FRENCH GE – RUNOFF
    SP and satellites : 315 seats (OM is at 289)
    Greens: 18
    Left Front: 13
    TOTAL LEFT: 346
    UMP and satellites: 226
    Center: 2
    NF: 2 (but not Marine LePen herself)
    Other: 1
    The landslide is finally here. The worst result for the right after 1981 (In 1988 it had 270 seats and in 1997, 250). OM for the Socialists even without the Greens and the Lefties, which happened only in 1981.”

    Now why is Google off? They have the Socialists at only 273 (with only 11 left to come in). They also have a “Divers Gauche” with 22 seats. Should those seats be counted as Socialist seats? (For example, in Minnesota, Democratic candidates for office technically run on the Democratic Farm-Labor Party ticket….is counting Divers Gauche as separate the same as counting those seats as separate from Democratic Party seats? Or in the UK, would that be like counting “Labour Co-operative” wins as separate from just plain Labour?).

    Btw, the results for the Greens are nothing short of sensational.

  7. @SocialLiberal
    Re OM for PS
    Usually we count as “socialists” not only the MPs officially labeled PS, but also those of their “satellite” micro-parties, such as the PRG, the MRC or local parties overseas, and by that standard they have 316 seats (most of these MPs caucus with the Socialist group in the Assembly). The same thing goes for the UMP, 226 seats means 226 MPs of UMP proper, its satellite parties (PR, NC etc) and various right-wingers.
    @Crosbat11
    I totally agree, EU is in full turmoil and political re-arrangment which might take some time to crystallize. The growth of SYRIZA, of the Dutch far-leftt SP,or of Sinn Fein in Eire, the emergence of “anti-system” parties such as the Pirates in Germany, the 5 stars movement in Italy (already 2nd party ahead of Berlusconi’s PDL) and the Ruch Palikot movement in Poland, the strengthening of the Socialists in many countries (France, Germany, Italy, UK, Croatia, Romania, Lithuania, Malta, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia) and at the same time the growing of far right movements (Greece, Finland, Hungary, Austria) constitute a very complicated puzzle that will eventually lead to a completely different political landscape.

  8. @SoCalLiberal

    The emphasis should have been on “PS et ses proches allies”… or satellites as Virgilio terms them. Pretty dramatic victory in historical terms whichever way you slice it.

    Some slightly tragic recent research about the importance of the looks of a candidate for swing voters:

    h
    ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/17/candidate-winning-look-voters-romney-obama

  9. @SocialLiberal
    Re the Greens
    The 18 Green MPs are in fact common candidates of Socialists and Greens, in these constituencies the PS did not fie a candidate of its own, but chose to support the Green candidate instead in the frame of cooperation agreement which is now also reflected in the makeup of Hollande gvt, made of Socialists, Greens and independent left-wingers.
    Other remarkable facts: Paris has 12 PS and Green MPs (10+2) and only 6 UMP etc. , which is totally unprecedented. French residents abroad elected 8 Soc-Green MPs (7+1) and only 3 UMP. The 8th constituency, where I vote, elected a socialist with 55%, whereas Sarkozy had got 63% at the runoff of PE against Hollande.

  10. SOCALLIBERAL

    “I thought that voting weas compulsory in Britain too.”

    Nope. Registration to vote is theoretically compulsory in the UK, but since never enforced means little.

    You are probably thinking of Australia which, while on the other side of the world, and immune from the Westminster Parliament, still has the same Head of State as other countries – including the UK (which isn’t the same as Great Britain).

    Why you ex-colonials don’t understand such simple things is quite strange. :-)

  11. @ Crossbat11

    “I’d say Francois Hollande has a real chance of becoming the dominant political figure in Europe now, leading as he does one of the continent’s major economic powerhouses and possessing real political strength and credibility on the back of the recent French presidential and assembly elections. If he succeeds, and I wish him all the luck in the world, what an opportunity for the European Left and what a chance we now have of shaping a new and better Europe.

    No pressure, Francois! lol”

    He definitely has the potential to shake up the scene when it comes to austerity. And yeah, there is a lot of pressure on him. The French want change and it’s occuring in the backdrop of mess that threatens all of Europe. But he seems like one who might be a very good diplomat. “The best result in Assembly elections for the Socialists in the history of the Fifth Republic, I believe.

    “The best result in Assembly elections for the Socialists in the history of the Fifth Republic, I believe.”

    I think it very well might be depending on how seats are counted. In 1997, all the left wing parties accounted for 47.79% of the vote with the Socialists receiving only 38.20% of the vote. In 1988, the Socialists received 45.31% of the vote though the left had an overall majority of 52.10% of the vote. In 1981, the Socialists received 49..25% of the vote and the left wing parties received a total of 56.75% of the vote. I’m avoiding seat comparisons because the number of seats needed for a majority changed between 1981 and 1986 and also I’m not sure if tabulations on Google are correct.

    The Socialists in this election currently have 48.2% of the vote with I think 11 results left to declare. But with ‘Divers Gauche” included, that total goes up to 52.1% of the vote. (Not sure if that counts). If you add in all the other left wing parties, the total left wing vote was 58.8% of the vote, which would be the best results in the history of the French Republic (if that holds). Wikipedia for the 1981 results seems to include “Mouvement des radicaux de gauche” with 14 seats as part of the totals for the Socialist. So I may be off, Virgilio can educate me on how I should be interpreting the results.

  12. @ Old Nat

    “Nope. Registration to vote is theoretically compulsory in the UK, but since never enforced means little.

    You are probably thinking of Australia which, while on the other side of the world, and immune from the Westminster Parliament, still has the same Head of State as other countries – including the UK (which isn’t the same as Great Britain).

    Why you ex-colonials don’t understand such simple things is quite strange”

    Ack!!! I meant to say Greece! Not Britain. Sorry. I am trying to multitask right now and wrote that by mistake. I thought voting was compulsory in Greece.

    And I know voting is compulsory in Australia and don’t worry, I may not always be able to differentiate the accents but I do know the difference between the two countries and voting systems. (Insert Sheepish Grin).

  13. @ Virgilio

    “Usually we count as “socialists” not only the MPs officially labeled PS, but also those of their “satellite” micro-parties, such as the PRG, the MRC or local parties overseas, and by that standard they have 316 seats (most of these MPs caucus with the Socialist group in the Assembly). The same thing goes for the UMP, 226 seats means 226 MPs of UMP proper, its satellite parties (PR, NC etc) and various right-wingers.”

    Thank you for explaining that to me. I think that the Google Elections people should know that. There are of course differences between allied parties and parties that are satellites of the major parties but roughly the same. Makes a difference in analysis. This fall, plenty of Democrats will get elected to Congress in New York, many of them will have received nominations of other parties when they win. They’ll still be counted as Democrats and not as separate from the total. Ditto for the Minnesota Democrats. And ditto for any other states out there with parties that have unique oddities.

    With that confusion out of the way, let me say Congratulations or Felicitations! It’s a major victory and an unprecedented landslide, it’s quite well-deserved.

  14. @ Virgilio

    “Re the Greens
    The 18 Green MPs are in fact common candidates of Socialists and Greens, in these constituencies the PS did not fie a candidate of its own, but chose to support the Green candidate instead in the frame of cooperation agreement which is now also reflected in the makeup of Hollande gvt, made of Socialists, Greens and independent left-wingers.
    Other remarkable facts: Paris has 12 PS and Green MPs (10+2) and only 6 UMP etc. , which is totally unprecedented. French residents abroad elected 8 Soc-Green MPs (7+1) and only 3 UMP. The 8th constituency, where I vote, elected a socialist with 55%, whereas Sarkozy had got 63% at the runoff of PE against Hollande.”

    That is fairly remarkable about Paris though it is somewhat remarkable to me that Paris was once a bastion of the right.

    I think your constituency has probably got to have the biggest swing of them all. Your new MP is a rockstar, having been able to outpace the party standard bearer by 18%. Wow!

    Which one did you say was the abroad constituency for the U.S. and Canada again?

    In terms of the Greens, their result is spectacular. They’ve elected MPs in the past but this is more than double their prior best result. I feel like Greens appeal to the same sorts of voters that many western Democrats do. They’re an exceptionally good ally to have for the Socialists in terms of broadening the left wing because they can appeal to many voters that traditionally would never consider voting for a Socialist.

  15. SoCal

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constituencies_for_French_residents_overseas

    You can click through to separate entries for each constituency

  16. @ Roger Mexico

    “You can click through to separate entries for each constituency.”

    Thank you.

  17. @SocialLiberal
    Up after an exhaustive night, following 2 GE at the same time, and very little sleep!
    Re the French residents in US: They belong to the 1st constituency overseas, which elected a Socialist lady with 54% (46 in the US and 63 in Canada). In my constituency, the socialist candidate was defeated in her own country by her UMP opponent, also a French-Israeli (Israel 42%, Jerusalem 33%), but won everywhere else (Turkey 73%, Greece 68, Italy 61, Cyprus 52). But even the result in Israel was a great improvement from Hollande’s 8% at the PE runoff.
    My “original” constituency in France (5th of Paris) elected a socialist lady with more than 70%. Finally, in my Greek electoral district (2nd district of Athens, the most populated of all Greece, electing 42 seats out of 300), the results were as follows:
    SYRIZA 31.4 (+ 9.6 from May) – 13 seats (+4)
    ND 26.2 (+13.8) – 13 seats (-1)
    PASOK 8.5 (-0.5) – 4 seats (=)
    DEM. LEFT 7.7 (+1.1) – 3 seats (=)
    IND. GREEKS 7.4 (-3.6) – 3 seats (-2)
    GOLDEN DAWN 6.4 (-0.3) – 3 seats (=)
    COMM.P. KKE 5.4 (-4.2) 3 seats (-1)
    Others 6.8 (-15.9)

  18. @Roger Mexico – “Actually I think a SYRIZA win might have got the Euro elite to face reality rather than stagger on to next week’s crisis and throwing yet more cash into the financial black hole that is today’s capitalism. Also as Colin points out it would be quite funny.”

    Not sure about the humorous aspects, but agree totally that this will simply lead to further digging of holes in sand into which heads will be placed.

  19. I will be surprised if, as a result of yesterdays election results, that anything in Europe will change. Certainly, there will be a lot of talking, and of course promises of change will be made, but then reality will have to be faced, and change will be deferred until an examination of the effects of such change has been carried out. Politicians will always prevaricate when faced with significant responsibility, asking for patience from the faithful, in the knowledge that delivery of new policies will satisfy few and upset many, and of course they will face constant examination by, and criticism from, the media.
    Stand by for a whole raft of fudge. :-)

  20. While I was rooting for SYRIZA, truth is that I don’t think a SYRIZA win would have changed a great deal. It would have offered a different perspective, and when I was in Athens 2 weeks ago I spoke to many people who thought SYRIZA were the one party (I’m not counting the nazis) who said that the bailout terms are destructive and that the course must change. That energy has now disappeared.

    Samaras is a real piece of work. The whole kerfuffle over ‘Macedonia’ which dates back 20 years is largely his fault, as a young, right wing and noisy foreign minister. Greece has now lost the alternative narrative that SYRIZA offered, although they will make for a strong opposition (if they keep their discipline …).

    The other loss is for Europe. There is now no vocal alternative to the euro mess in government. I never thought Greece would be ejected from the euro, and I am spitting mad at all the scaremongering Juncker et al. disgracefully engaged in.

    Ultimately, this awful saga points to the crisis of legitimacy of the state in Greece (ND barely scraped 30% …) and more widely, the (as many see it) unaccountable and undemocratic technocrats at the Euro level. SYRIZA was a moral victory, and even though ND have ‘won’, it showed that sorting out the financial mess requires accountability and legitimacy. I think ND will get its coalition, but it will be a weak one, and I would not preclude elections within 12-18 months. Greece is in a terrible state, and I don’t see Samaras and ND doi g much about it.

  21. The margin of “victory” seems awfully thin to me. I can’t help thinking this new government isn’t going to survive very long. Not given the task ahead of it.

    How much would it take for a handful of Pasok members to quit and move across the floor?

  22. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9337175/Soldiers-sacked-days-before-pension-date.html

    Does anyone believe that the pensionable date would not have been considered ? I am struggling to believe this.

  23. @Tark,

    It seems odd to suggest that ND’s “win” with 30% is illegitimate, and then go on to say that Syriza’s 27% grants them a “moral” victory.

    At the end of the day, a country needs a government. If the electoral system (and the electorate) fragments the vote so that the highest scoring party falls well short of 50% then that’s the way it is. You may as well say that the Greek (and most other countries’) electoral system is “illegitimate”.

    I agree that Samaras is pretty bankrupt in terms of moral authority, given the twists and turns he’s made on economic policy. I don’t thnk his Macedonia histrionics are particularly relevant now, though (as bloody minded as they were).

  24. Neil A

    Seems to me that the outcome of the Greek election throws into stark relief e difference between a constitutional mandate and a moral one.

    Wolfgang Schaubel was rather intemperate in his rush to shout that the result gave a “mandate” for the reforms demanded by the rest of the EZ. It may have done so in strictly constitutional terms, but that constitution was hardly developed for the current circumstances. In moral terms, with anti bailout parties gaining almost as many votes as pro-bailout ones, there is no “mandate”. The “mandate” will be tested, probably to breaking point over the next 6 months.

  25. @R HUCKLE
    `Does anyone believe that the pensionable date would not have been considered ? I am struggling to believe this`

    If there was a Labour government in power,the Sun would be launching a campaign about this.

  26. @ SMUKESH

    “If there was a Labour government in power,the Sun would be launching a campaign about this.”

    Perhaps they might do so. But having said that, I do wonder whether the News International titles are currently being nice to the coalition, as they may be worried about implementation of any Leveson proposals.

    Yes other newspaper titles may also have concerns about Leveson, but the inquiry was set up to look into hacking and other issues, after the NOTW scandal emerged. Therefore the Leveson report may have more impact on News International titles. Of course due to the criminal inquiries, Leveson, will be constrained about what they are able to report.

  27. @Neil
    I really don’t think 30% is anything to crow about. It is a terrible result for ND historically, where they were used to regular 38-42%, and in May they polled under 20%. They are as ragged as the result suggests.

    SYRIZA didn’t win, and had they come first they would not have scored more than ND did anyway. But they did offer an alternative narrative. I would say that rising from 4% three years ago to 27% now indicates some kind of groundswell. I would think an anti-thecurrentfiasco party rising 23% in three years does give them legitimacy that the eventual front-runners, ND, do not have. Perhaps it is good for SYRIZA that they can’t form a govt, but not for Greece.

    Right now Samaras’s throwing of toys re. Macedonia does not i itself matter, but it did hobble Greek foreign policy to an extraordinary (and unnecessary) degree, and reduced Greece’s influence accordingly.

    As @LeftyLampton succintly puts it, there is a difference between a constitutional and a moral mandate. (thanks LL).

    Anyway, those of us lucky enough to not rely on Greek public services can now sit back and watch in apprehension rather than panic.

  28. @R HUCKLE
    `I do wonder whether the News International titles are currently being nice to the coalition, as they may be worried about implementation of any Leveson proposals.`

    I think it works both ways…Rebekah Brooks may start remembering things she had forgotten if things go against the media empire.

  29. @Smukesh

    “I think it works both ways…Rebekah Brooks may start remembering things she had forgotten if things go against the media empire.”

    Or finding second phones that were forgotten about. Or finding archives of all those texts from Cameron…

  30. @ROBIN

    ;-)

  31. I have to admit to being torn over this result. On the one hand, I feel desperately sorry for the young, the elderly and the vulnerable, who will be the ones to suffer most as a result of the return of those who got Greece into this mess in the first place. On the other hand, if nearly 40% of the Greek electorate couldn’t be bothered to vote, then why should anyone else be bothered what happens to Greece? Lovely country, shame about the people that run it (into the ground). :o(

  32. @ ROBIN

    “Or finding second phones that were forgotten about. Or finding archives of all those texts from Cameron…”

    Tom Watson MP has tweeted Rupert Murdoch, asking about these other phones.

    I would think that there would be no issue regarding these phones, as the recipients of any calls/texts, would have declared these to the inquiry. I think the conspirators are suggesting that people on both sides looking at the BSkyB deal, had secret ways of communicating with each other i.e secret phones. I don’t believe this and wait to see if any real evidence is revealed.

  33. The Greek situation really is fascinating power politics for a neutral observer (not that such a thing can exist of course).

    Samaras has a case now of going to the EZ with an “apres moi, le deluge” argument for a softening of terms.

    Having said that, Tsipiras’s case was “Without a VERY significant re-working of the terms, the deluge will come here and now. Are YOU, the EZ, prepared to risk that?”

    Germany will probably allow some minor relaxation of the Austerity conditions as a reward for Greece playing ball and to delay any mass rejection of Austerity through direct action. But whether this relaxation will be enough to get Greece back into the growth that it desperately needs is doubtful.

    I fear for the Greeks that the actual outcome will be a breathing space for the rest of the EZ to finalise plans (such as they are) for dealing with the eventual, inevitable Greek default without contagion. So, by not forcing the issue, Greece ends up in the worst of all worlds – taking the ongoing pain for the next year or so, before finally being allowed to go into the abyss anyway.

    Gut feeling: Historians will see Greece as having played its own hand very badly. Had they forced the issue a year ago, there is no way that the rest of the EZ could have countenanced them leaving the Euro. The risk of contagion was simply too high. So they would have had a very strong negotiating position for demanding very significant changes of terms. Tsipiras would claim that they still had that position yesterday. Whether they will still have that option in 6-12 months time is less certain.

  34. @R HUCKLE

    `I don’t believe this and wait to see if any real evidence is revealed.`

    I agree as hiding evidence would amount to perjury,I think

  35. smukesh

    My understanding is that Brooks and co are already charged with hiding evidence.

  36. Again, it was court proceedings on behalf of private individuals which brought to light the existence of two “secret” phones early this month:

    h
    ttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/seized-news-international-iphones-may-hold-evidence-of-hacking-coverup-7811867.html

    Four “newly discovered” phones in today’s story… “neither Operation Weeting nor the Leveson Inquiry was told of the existence of the smartphone accounts.”

  37. Given the capabilities of GCHQ, not to mention the Americans, just how much of what brooks and Co were up to do the intelligence services already know.

    I doubt Cameron could have a “spare” phone without his special branch minders knowing.

    Peter.

  38. it probably matters very little who won the Greek election. Greece is no longer a normal member of the EZ, it is almost a vassal state. It’s a case of “you guys pick who you want to have told what to do by the rest of us”

  39. @Smukesh @R Huckle

    As far as I can see this is just what happens when you have varied dates of entry into a job, service related benefits and a redundancy process. It happens frequently, and wherever it happens you’re going to find people who are only x days away from retirement/pension/job seurity etc… This is only a real issue if there is evidence that the proportion affected is mathematically unlikely without it being deliberate. It could become a political issue of course.

  40. @PeterCairns – “just how much… do the intelligence services already know.”

    Rather – how much did they know all along?

  41. @SOCAL

    “And I know voting is compulsory in Australia and don’t worry, I may not always be able to differentiate the accents but I do know the difference between the two countries and voting systems. (Insert Sheepish Grin).”

    Australian: “G’day Bruce.”

    English: “Good Morning old bean.”

    Scots: “Fit like pal”

    Welsh: “Baaa!”

    ;)

  42. @R Huckle – ” I think the conspirators are suggesting that people on both sides looking at the BSkyB deal, had secret ways of communicating with each other i.e secret phones. I don’t believe this and wait to see if any real evidence is revealed.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure. Charlie Brookes is charged with (I think) attempting to pervert the course of justice, and this relates to events surrounding the discovery of a laptop and phone in a bin near their home.

    Personally, I would be utterly astonished if there weren’t alternative avenues of communication between the two sides in this. The only question is whether they will ever see the light of day.

    On Europe; Spanish bond yields break 7% this morning, and stock markets back to sliding. This just shows that Greek elections were but a side show, and the Euro elites were in their dreamy never never world (again) in thinking that the result would sort anything out.

    Quite the reverse. The desperate need across Europe is for the position to be crystalized and dealt with. A Syriza win could have forced this on the numpties in Brussels and other Euro capitals, but now they have been let off the hook for a while longer.

    The sooner you lance a boil the less messy the result. I’m going to stop right there with this analogy.

  43. @ALEC
    `The only question is whether they will ever see the light of day.`

    I hope we don`t have to wait for the Guardian again to illuminate things.

  44. @Alec

    “The sooner you lance a boil the less messy the result. I’m going to stop right there with this analogy.”

    If you’d have continued with your analogy I expect you would have accused the Greeks of taking the pus.

  45. The first rule about political scandals is that it’s not the offence that they get you for – it’s the cover-up. This looks as if this may be happening with News International.

    Actually what really amuses me about this latest development is the naivety – or maybe the assumption of impunity. Remember that they may be in trouble just for not disclosing the phones, never mind what they did with them. And yet they were obtained through and the bills paid for by the company.

  46. For those who haven’t noticed, as opposed to those who don’t care, the “Euro Elite” are the democratically elected politicians we have chosen and the civil servants they have appointed with the powers democratic governments have given them.

    If people who use the term wouldn’t mind could you in future refer to British politicians as the “Westminster Elite” and people like Lord Leveson as an “Unelected British Bureaucrat”.

    I think simply branding European equivalents of what we have here as an “Elite” is lazy and shows people’s prejudices more than their intellect.

    I have my problems with a lot of what Europe, and the European Commission in particular does, but it doesn’t descend into name calling and I have no time for the “UK good – Europe bad” line.

    Whether it be their actions or their structures the leadership in Europe is under the control of the politicians Europeans elected and if they are a bunch of self serving egotists then it’s our fault.

    Pretending they are an elite apart doesn’t let us off the hook.

    Peter.

  47. @ Virgilio

    “Up after an exhaustive night, following 2 GE at the same time, and very little sleep!
    Re the French residents in US: They belong to the 1st constituency overseas, which elected a Socialist lady with 54% (46 in the US and 63 in Canada). In my constituency, the socialist candidate was defeated in her own country by her UMP opponent, also a French-Israeli (Israel 42%, Jerusalem 33%), but won everywhere else (Turkey 73%, Greece 68, Italy 61, Cyprus 52). But even the result in Israel was a great improvement from Hollande’s 8% at the PE runoff.
    My “original” constituency in France (5th of Paris) elected a socialist lady with more than 70%. Finally, in my Greek electoral district (2nd district of Athens, the most populated of all Greece, electing 42 seats out of 300), the results were as follows:
    SYRIZA 31.4 (+ 9.6 from May) – 13 seats (+4)
    ND 26.2 (+13.8) – 13 seats (-1)
    PASOK 8.5 (-0.5) – 4 seats (=)
    DEM. LEFT 7.7 (+1.1) – 3 seats (=)
    IND. GREEKS 7.4 (-3.6) – 3 seats (-2)
    GOLDEN DAWN 6.4 (-0.3) – 3 seats (=)
    COMM.P. KKE 5.4 (-4.2) 3 seats (-1)
    Others 6.8 (-15.9)”

    Well you certainly know how to pick your neighbors! The results of the first abroad constituency are funny given the ability of the Canadian French to outvote the American French and force a more leftwing result.

    Also, your enthusiasm for elections is endearing. I think you’re like a long lost French-Greek brother sometimes. I stay up late, waiting for election results even after exit poll projections have been made (I want to see the final result). I would imagine it would be especially exhausting for you trying to follow the results of both elections.

    Hollande has got a lot on his plate but I think he’s helped himself by not overpromising what he’ll be able to actually do and change for the better.

    @ Statgeek

    “Australian: “G’day Bruce.”

    English: “Good Morning old bean.”

    Scots: “Fit like pal”

    Welsh: “Baaa!””

    I presume that all of these expressions are saying the same thing? :)

  48. SOCIALLIBERAL,

    “The results of the first abroad constituency are funny given the ability of the Canadian French to outvote the American French and force a more leftwing result.”

    On the assumption that their are more French Canadians eligible to vote than French Americans, I would suggest that their is nothing funny about the result it’s just democracy in action.

    Are you suggesting that American French should have their own district so that they can send a tea parties to Paris?

    Peter.

  49. Off topic but an interesting piece on the BBC Website,

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18462985

    It seems it is as much about how much as how many.

    Peter.

  50. I think EU focus will now switch to France.

    Presumably the administrations in Greece, & Italy will just continue in their efforts to free their economies & governance from the protectionisms & clientelism which even Tsipras acknowledged.
    I think Monti stands a better chance than Greece-can’t help feeling the latter is beyond reform.

    Presumably Ireland will keep doing what it’s doing to try & get access to bond markets again -insisting that it gets the same treatment as Greece & Spain if there is any relaxation of bailout terms going.
    It must feel particularly aggrieved that the cause of it’s bailout-banking losses-is incurring a heavy burden for Irish taxpayers, whereas Spain’s regional banking crisis is solved with a low interest bailout routed round , rather than via the Spanish state.

    A Spanish sovereign bailout may well be in prospect before long though.

    So what about France?

    AFP reports :-

    “French media reports say Hollande is proposing to fellow European leaders a 120 billion euro ($152 billion) “growth pact” that would include a tax on financial transactions and massive investments in infrastructure.”

    What is their reaction to this going to be? What infrastructure & where ? Who decides-States or the Commission?
    Presumably having just witnessed the end result of Spain’s foray into “infrastructure investment” -a 100bn euro bank rescue , someone somewhere will make sure that another 120 bn isn’t headed down a similar plughole?

    I wonder if Angela might ask how France intends to contribute to such a programme whilst sticking to it’s vow to reduce it’s budget deficit to zero by 2017-a task which will beats GO’s current plan by at least one year.

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