Greeks are casting their ballots on 21 May in one of the most unpredictable national elections in years, with the formation of a new government uncertain and the leading politicians bickering over the credibility of current opinion polls that favour the ruling conservatives.
The election will be held under new electoral law, applying a proportional system in the first round, and analysts estimate that a party seeking to govern alone would need to get 46% of the overall vote, which is difficult.
Otherwise, the single strongest party will have to negotiate with others to form a coalition government, something somewhat unusual in Greek politics.
The three main parties in the running are the ruling New Democracy party (EPP), the main leftist opposition Syriza party (EU Left), and the socialists (Pasok – S&D).
New Democracy prefers a single-party government, while Syriza has clarified that it aims for a “progressive coalition” with the socialists.
Pasok, for their part, is expected to play the kingmaker’s role, but the party has kept its cards close to the chest, although their electoral program is much closer to that of Syriza’s.
New Democracy and Syriza are considered the two ideological opposites, and any collaboration between them is ruled out.
If negotiations for a coalition government fail, a second round will be held in July, where a party or parties will need almost 37% of the vote to form a government.
Depending on its performance, the first party will get some “bonus” seats redistributed from those who do not cross the threshold.
New Democracy has so far been leading all polls published on national media.

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