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ND, SYRIZA and PASOK fall short in European Parliament election

The government and the main opposition came out weakened from Sunday’s European elections, while parties to the right of ruling New Democracy gained traction amid a record abstention rate close to 60%.

According to the Interior Ministry’s estimate for the final result, center-right ND fell significantly short of its 2019 result (33.12%) in the previous Euro elections with 28.6%, winning seven seats. 

It still holds a wide lead over leftist SYRIZA, which won 14.7% and four seats. The main opposition party failed to match the 17% it garnered in last year’s national polls. 

Indeed, the result was a far cry from the ambitious goal that had been set by its leader Stefanos Kasselakis.

Socialist PASOK won 12.9% and three seats and remains firmly stuck to its chagrin in third place despite its often stated aspirations to become the country’s main opposition party. 

In total, the parties to the right of ND reached a total of 20%, that, if added together, make them collectively the second party.

Nationalist Greek Solution was fourth with 9.3% (two seats) ahead of communist KKE with 9.3% and two seats. Far-right Niki won 4.4% and one seat, ahead of Course for Freedom on 3.4%, also with one seat. Another party to the right of ND, Voice of Reason, was hovering at the 3% threshold and it was not clear if it had won a seat. 

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis admitted that ND did not reach the target it had set for the European elections.

“I will not hide the truth. Our party did not reach the goal we had set. Nor am I interested in arguments such as that the difference with the second party is the biggest in the history of the European elections. We knew from the beginning that this election would be very difficult. Citizens who supported us in 2023 knew that now they were not electing a government and, perhaps faced this battle differently,” he said in a recorded message late Sunday night.

Mitsotakis pointed out that New Democracy remained a dominant party in Greece, which avoided a surge in far-right parties seen in other European countries on Sunday.

“These elections are the starting point of a new path toward 2027,” he said and pledged to focus on everyday issues affecting Greeks. 

For his part, Kasselakis appeared optimistic, despite the fact that his party fell short of the target set before the European elections.

“We managed to shrink the gap [from New Democracy party] from 23% to 13%,” he said in his first statements on the electoral result outside of the party’s headquarters.

“The alibi of 41% is now over [referring to ND’s landslide win in last year’s national election]. This is a choice of the Greek people,” he said, adding that this is the first step for a party that moves and changes.

“I have no remorse about anything. The Greek people have clearly given me the time to build an alternative government proposal,” he stressed.