Greek exit polls show top parties neck-and-neck

2015-09-20 18:25

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Athens - Initial Greek exit polls showed SYRIZA and New Democracy neck-and-neck in a snap election called by former prime minister Alexis Tsipras in mid-August, state broadcaster ERT reported on Sunday.

ERT polls showed left-wing SYRIZA garnering between 30 and 34% of the vote while New Democracy was expected to clinch between 28 and 32.5%. The results are short of an absolute majority for either party, meaning that a coalition government will likely be necessary.

Extremist right-wing party Golden Dawn was predicted to come in third place, with from 5.5 to 7% of the vote, followed by the Communist party KKE and centrist socialist party Pasok.

Observers said turnout was exceptionally low at ballot stations, indicating that after five years of belt-tightening measures during which the economy has lost a quarter of its value and three elections since the beginning of the year, Greece is weary of politicians' promises.

While the exit polls are only an informal indication and preliminary official results aren't expected until at least 21:00 (18:00 GMT) Sunday evening, they usually give an accurate estimation of voting trends. Some analysts warned that the dependability of the polls was diminished by low voter turnout.

Tsipras said he called the elections to receive a renewed mandate to implement the terms of a bailout programme that included €86bn in funding for the struggling Greek economy.

Those terms include further budget cuts and tactics to raise money for the state, including privatization of assets. While the measures were widely unpopular, they were considered necessary to secure financing that would keep Greece in the eurozone.

Read more on:    greece

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