Greece on Friday entered the final day of campaigning the weekend’s national election, with conservative frontrunner Kyriakos Mitsotakis aiming to consolidate the gains he made in last month’s inconclusive ballot.
This poll is being held under a different system, meaning he stands to gain a larger share of seats in parliament if he repeats — or betters — his May performance, as polls suggest he will.
Mitsotakis, the 55-year-old Harvard graduate seeking a second four-year term, will hold his final rally in Athens’ central Syntagma Square in the evening.
Having steered Greece to growth amid global uncertainty, Mitsotakis promises to further cut taxes, increase salaries and bolster public health.
“We have more experience and greater momentum,” he told supporters in Thessaloniki on Wednesday.
“This is why I insist that a (robust) New Democracy is the only road ultimately leading to a strong Greece.”
Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party in May cruised to victory with a score of 40.79 percent, more than 20 points ahead of his nearest rival, former leftist prime minister Alexis Tsipras.
But he fell short of a workable parliamentary majority owing to the last election’s proportional representation rules, and declined to form a coalition government.
This election is being held under new rules that give the winner up to 50 bonus seats in parliament, facilitating the formation of a single-party government.
– Polls favourable –
Polls suggest Mitsotakis’s New Democracy party will on Sunday take a clear majority with between 40 and 45 percent of the vote.
Less certain, however, is whether the conservatives will be able to secure a comfortable majority in the 300-seat parliament, comparable to the 158 seats they won in 2019.
If eight parties succeed in entering parliament on Sunday — which is a possibility according to the polls — the winner will need a higher percentage of the vote to maximise their parliamentary group in the 300-seat chamber.
New Democracy also need to win at least 40 percent of the vote to secure the full 50-seat bonus.