New Democracy managed to get close to 30% effectively gaining enough seats in parliament so as to require as few coalition partners as possible. Yet, effectively, the New Democracy leader will seek a wider consensus to ring-fence the position of the country within the EU and to have enough backing to push for a renegotiation of some of the terms of the bailout agreement. SYRIZA managed to increase its percentages to a number that can be easily mishandled. Now, the electorate will begin to treat them as a party that has the potential to govern (rather than a marginal anti-systemic party). We have seen a change of rhetoric from the previous election to this one which signals their desire to capture the middle ground in Greek politics. However, they have chosen the path of remaining in opposition consciously as they are also afraid to get in the driver’s seat with untested practices and too much rhetoric that may not be easily translated into policy. PASOK managed to retain more or less its previous percentages still losing out and still facing an overly unfair share of the blame for the current situation. At the same time, we see that this is now an unprecedented opportunity for the party to make a clean break with the past and reorganize to reflect the new dynamics within society. After all, this is the truly middle-class party and most of its previous voters have defected to SYRIZA. This will be the target of its leader. KKE the Greek communists saw their support diminishing, which also alludes to their loss of touch with societal needs.
Independent Greeks lost considerable ground especially towards New Democracy but also to the far right, which also reveals that this party that emerged out of the blue has lost its initial momentum and will perhaps experience declining results, a kind of firework effect. Democratic Left maintained its share of the vote and appears to be an interesting new feature in Greek politics as a left wing party that incorporates values of social democracy under a European context, and which will perhaps act as a balancing coalition partner to austerity measures. LAOS has vaporized mainly due to the rise of the Golden Dawn party of the extreme right. The neo-fascist Golden Dawn is now incorporating voters on issues of illegal migration and racism, which are newly legitimized phenomena on the Greek political system. What their results allow us to assume in a safe way is that they have now solidified their footing in parliament despite all the negative portrayal by the media and all the incidents that took place in the meantime (punching of a communist MP on live television, racial attacks on immigrants etc.). This is indeed the phenomenon that in my opinion is most surprising. However, it has also become the reality in Greek politics and should be the one to watch out for. So now what? In my opinion the government that will be formulated after the coalition talks will have a hard time in passing measures of austerity. It will face strong opposition on a daily basis from a number of different parties of the political spectrum left and right, making it hard to even conduct day-to-day operations. This means that the stability of the new government is at stake. The coalition may not last long but it needs to last until Europe manages a unified response to the crisis. At the same time, its life cycle will depend on the responses of Europe in terms of their flexibility to renegotiate the terms of the agreement, as well as the redesigning of the institutional architecture of the European project to reflect a stronger political union, especially as more and more countries require some form of bailing out, albeit at different degrees and for different reasons.