According to preliminary results, the conservative party Nea Dimokratia (ND) led by former Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has clearly won the parliamentary elections in Greece. Based on around 69 percent of the votes counted, she scored 40.4 percent – almost the same result as the previous vote in May.

The largest opposition party, the left-wing Syriza under Alexis Tsipras, came to 17.8 percent. In May she had secured 20 percent of the votes.

“Today we’re celebrating, but tomorrow we’ll roll up our sleeves,” Mitsotakis promised party supporters in Athens that evening. With this election result, his Nea Dimokratia is the strongest people’s party in Europe. “It’s a big mandate to implement what is needed,” he said. He named three of his most important concerns: He wanted more growth, which would lead to higher wages. In addition, as announced during the election campaign, he will turn the ailing health system upside down. And he will continue to work on modernizing and digitizing the state, he promised.

Because the strongest party in this election receives at least 20 additional seats in the 300-member parliament according to the electoral law, the Conservatives can form the future government with a majority of around 160 seats. The election is the second ballot within five weeks: After the Conservatives had been in office for four years since 2019, there were already parliamentary elections in Greece in May. However, no coalition and thus no government came about, which is why a new election had to be held.

Dilapidated healthcare system needs modernization

Despite the electoral success, Mitsotakis cannot rest on his laurels. Domestically, he has to tackle the health system – and also prove that he is not only business-friendly, but that the country’s progress is also worthwhile for the people. After the severe financial crisis in the country, Greeks are still among the poorest citizens in Europe. And finally, it is important to come to terms with the re-elected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in terms of foreign policy. He had repeatedly threatened the Greeks militarily in recent years.

The result was sobering for opposition leader Alexis Tsipras. “We suffered a heavy electoral defeat,” he admitted. The party now needs the necessary cuts. The party members are asked to evaluate the work of the entire leadership and to realign themselves under these difficult conditions. “It goes without saying that I am the first to face the verdict of the party members.”

After five electoral defeats, Tsipras is likely to face difficult times. There were already calls for his resignation after the party’s dramatic slump in the May elections. However, Syriza is heavily tailored to Tsipras. Although there are well-known, popular politicians in their ranks, none of them have officially prepared them for a leadership role.

In addition to ND and Syriza, the social democratic Pasok with 11.9 percent (May: 11.5 percent), the Greek Communist Party KKE with 7.7 percent and the radical right-wing national party Spartiates (Spartians) with 4.7 percent will also be in parliament. The right-wing populist party Elliniki Lisi also made it into parliament with 4.5 percent. In addition, the ultra-Orthodox party Niki will be represented with 3.7 percent in the parliament. The radical left small party Plefsi Eleftherias is also represented with 3.2 percent (May: 2.9 percent). The Mera25 party of former left-wing Finance Minister Giannis Varoufakis remained excluded from parliament with 2.5 percent (May: 2.6 percent).