Greek legislative election, 2007
Distribution of parliament seats after the 2007 elections (Results).
New Democracy: 152 seats
Panhellenic Socialist Movement: 102 seats
Communist Party of Greece: 22 seats
Coalition of the Radical Left: 14 seats
Popular Orthodox Rally: 10 seats
|Date||September 16, 2007|
|Previous prime minister||Kostas Karamanlis|
|Next prime minister||Kostas Karamanlis (holding position)|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Parliamentary elections were held in Greece on Sunday, September 16, 2007, to elect the 300 members of the Hellenic Parliament. The leading party for a second term was New Democracy under the leadership of Kostas Karamanlis with 41.83%, followed by George Papandreou and Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) with 38.10%. New Democracy managed to secure an absolute but narrow majority of 152 out of 300 parliament seats. The populist Popular Orthodox Rally entered the parliament for the first time with 10 seats, while the parties of the left, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), enjoyed a significant increase in their votes. KKE got 8.15% of the votes (from 5.89) and secured 22 parliament seats (from 12) and SYRIZA got 5.04% of the votes (+1.78%) and 14 seats. The Ecologist Greens, which was contesting its first general election, became the largest extra-parliamentary party (1.05%), without reaching the 3% threshold necessary for a party to enter parliament.
The difference of nearly four percentage points between the first two parties resulted in George Papandreou announcing that he would seek reaffirmation of his party leadership, with Evangelos Venizelos and Kostas Skandalidis also declaring candidacy for the post.
There were concerns that the election could return a hung parliament, mainly due to the recently revised Greek electoral law. Although it preserved the 3% threshold necessary for a party to enter parliament, it decreased the number of seats automatically awarded to the leading party. Parliamentary majority was considered more difficult, especially after the early projection that five parties would cross this threshold for the first time after the metapolitefsi.
According to the electoral law, the first-past-the post party was automatically awarded a bonus of 40 parliamentary seats. The remaining 260 seats were divided among all parties that achieved a minimum 3% nationwide vote tally, strictly in proportion to their polling returns. Since a majority of 151 seats was required, the leading party should secure at least 111 seats (42.7% of 260) in order to be able to form a government. Karamanlis had stated that in the event that no party should manage to achieve a majority, he would seek a new election. Papandreou had vaguely indicated that he may have pursued an alliance with the left, however the SYRIZA and KKE parties had categorically dismissed any possibility of participating in a coalition with any of the major parties.
No opinion polls were allowed to be published after September 1. The polls publicized prior to the election had concluded that:
- The next Parliament would be a five-party Parliament.
- New Democracy would hold a smaller lead over PASOK at around 2%.
- The goal of a workable parliamentary majority hung in the brink, with some pollsters projecting 147-149 and some 151-153 seats for the leading party.
The law traditionally requires that voting begins at "sunrise" and ends at "sunset". In practice this is rounded up to the nearest top of the hour. Voting began at 7 am and concluded at 7 pm. 7 pm was also the time when media outlets publicized their exit polls and issued their predictions. According to SingularLogic, the information technology contractor of the Ministry of the Interior, initial returns would not reach statistical significance before 11 pm and firm estimates might not emerge until after midnight. Voting took place in 20,623 polling stations - mostly schools - throughout the country, each of which catered to 400-500 voters on average.
Opinion polls, January–August 2007
A collection of opinion polls taken before the elections is listed below. According to a law, which was voted by the Greek parliament, publication of opinion polls is forbidden in the fortnight prior to the election date. Therefore the last day when opinion polls were published was September 1, 2007, and practically all opinion polling firms published their final public reports on August 31, 2007, in time for the evening news.
|Polling Firm||Date Published||ND||PASOK||KKE||SYRIZA
|Public Issue/VPRC||14 January 2007||43.0||39.0||7.5||4.0||3.5||3.0|
|GPO||15 January 2007||35.9||33.7||7.3||4.1||4.4||0.7||4.4||9.3|
|Kapa Research||10 February 2007||37.5||35.9||7.4||3.6||3.2||12.4|
|Public Issue/VPRC||11 February 2007||43.0||39.5||7.5||4.0||3.5||2.5|
|RASS||25 February 2007||36.7||33.9||5.8||2.8||2.7||18.1|
|Public Issue/VPRC||11 March 2007||43.0||39.5||7.0||4.5||3.5||2.5|
|Metron Analysis||22 March 2007||37.1||35.9||7.0||3.1||3.6||13.3|
|ALCO||30 March 2007||33.9||33.4||5.5||2.8||2.2||22.2|
|Kapa Research||30 March 2007||36.9||35.9||7.0||3.4||3.9||12.9|
|GPO||2 April 2007||36.0||34.2||7.0||4.0||4.5||0.9||3.9||9.5|
|Public Issue/VPRC||13 April 2007||42.5||39.0||7.0||4.5||4.0||3.0|
|MRB||27 April 2007||35.9||33.5||6.7||4.1||3.7||16.1|
|Public Issue/VPRC||13 May 2007||42.5||39.5||6.5||5.0||3.5||3.0|
|MRB||24 May 2007||35.7||33.7||6.3||4.4||4.7||15.2|
|Metron Analysis||2 June 2007||33.4||32.0||6.8||3.6||4.4||19.8|
|Public Issue/VPRC||8 June 2007||43.0||39.0||7.0||4.5||4.0||2.5|
|GPO||4 June 2007||35.5||34.5||7.1||4.4||4.9||2.3||3.3||8.0|
|ALCO||15 June 2007||34.2||34.0||6.3||2.9||3.5||1.6||2.5||14.7|
|MRB||15 June 2007||36.3||34.0||7.0||4.4||3.7||14.6|
|Metron Analysis||21 June 2007||36.8||35.8||6.4||3.8||3.8||13.4|
|Kapa Research||30 June 2007||36.1||35.1||7.6||4.3||4.2||0.6||12.1|
|Public Issue/VPRC||16 July 2007||42.5||38.5||7.5||4.5||3.5||3.5|
|GPO||22 August 2007||36.2||34.6||7.1||4.2||4.6||5.8||7.5|
|Metron Analysis||22 August 2007||31.0||29.5||7.0||4.3||3.5||2.5||6.8||15.4|
|MRB||23 August 2007||36.8||34.8||6.8||4.5||4.0||1.3||2.8||9.0|
|Kapa Research||26 August 2007||34.9||33.6||7.2||4.9||4.1||1,6||13.7|
|ALCO||27 August 2007||35.0||34.2||6.5||3.4||3.6||0.8||4.1||11.8|
|MRB||28 August 2007||35.2||33.2||7.3||4.4||3.9||2.2||4.3||6.7|
|Metron Analysis||29 August 2007||29.7||28.1||8.1||4.7||3.6||2.6||10.5||17.4|
|GPO||29 August 2007||36.0||34.8||7.0||4.5||4.9||2.1||10.7|
|ALCO||29 August 2007||31.6||30.9||6.2||3.4||3.3||1.8||8.7||15.9|
|Public Issue/VPRC (vote projection)*||31 August 2007||42.0||38.0||8.5||5.0||4.0||2.5|
|MRB||31 August 2007||35.4||33.3||7.5||4.7||3.7|
|GPO||31 August 2007||37.4||36.0||7.6||4.2||4.7|
|ALCO||31 August 2007||31.5||30.8||6.5||3.7||3.6|
- Public Issue/VPRC noted that their report was a prediction based on the time-series of opinion polls they had conducted.
Events before the election
- August 22, 2007: The Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) (6th largest party in the previous elections) announced its electoral alliance with the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).
- August 29, 2007: Opinion pollers MRB came under criticism from PASOK. Mathematical inconsistencies were alleged, such as response tallies summing up to more than 100%. MRB denied the allegations. MRB's parent company, Spot-Thompson Greece, are New Democracy's advertisers.
- August 30, 2007: MRB came under more fire as it cancelled publication of its regular biannual "Trends" survey, citing extreme difficulty in obtaining accurate information in the fire-stricken areas. Critics said that this admission automatically rendered previous voting behavior MRB estimates from these areas unreliable; yet, the election results in the prefectures which were devastated by the fires (Ilia, Euboea and Arcadia), were marked by a loss in votes for both the main opposition party and the ruling party.
- September 1, 2007: The Areios Pagos refused to certify Fofi Gennimata as a candidate for the PASOK nationwide list, citing non-eligibility because Mrs. Gennimata is elected the superprefect of Athens and Piraeus. This was criticised angrily by PASOK as an attempt to politicise the courts.
- September 2, 2007: The Areios Pagos:
- refused to include the title of DIKKI in the electoral alliance of SYRIZA claiming that the internal procedures followed by DIKKI were flawed. This was criticised furiously by SYRIZA and DIKKI as inappropriate interference in party political activity on behalf of the courts.
- refused to allow the New Fascism (Greek: Νέος Φασισμός) party contest the election because of its provocative name.
- refused to allow the New Salvation Party - Christian Democracy to use the Cross as its logo on the grounds that it is a religious symbol.
- excluded seven other parties from the elections for failure to pay the required electoral deposit.
- September 6, 2007: NET state television, in simulcast with the major private TV stations, broadcast the debate among the leaders of ND, PASOK, Communist Party of Greece (KKE), SYRIZA, Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), and Democratic Revival, who were questioned by six reporters in six rounds of questions and follow-ups. Questions and responses were rotated and timed. The debate lasted approximately 2.5 hours and concluded with a two-minute speech by each leader. The debate format, agreed beforehand by the participating parties, met with criticism for being too rigid and formal, too protective of the politicians and not conducive to exhaustive scrutiny of their policies.
|Media outlet||Polling Firm||ND||PASOK||KKE||SYRIZA||LAOS||Others/
|exit poll average:||all||41.9%||38.2%||7.9%||5.3%||3.8%||3.0%|
1 Revised exit poll presented at 20:30 local time
² Statistical projection based on official returns, presented at 21:30 local time - claimed margin of error: 0.2%
The following table shows the tallies with all the votes counted.
|New Democracy||Kostas Karamanlis||2,994,979||41.84||–3.52||152||–13|
|Panhellenic Socialist Movement||George Papandreou||2,727,279||38.10||–2.45||102||–15|
|Communist Party||Aleka Papariga||583,750||8.15||+2.26||22||+10|
|Coalition of the Radical Left||Alekos Alavanos||361,101||5.04||+1.78||14||+8|
|Popular Orthodox Rally||Georgios Karatzaferis||271,809||3.80||+1.61||10||+10|
|Ecologist Greens||Ioanna Kontouli, et al.||75,529||1.05||—||0||—|
|Democratic Revival||Stelios Papathemelis||57,189||0.80||—||0||—|
|Union of Centrists||Vassilis Leventis||20,822||0.29||+0.03||0||—|
|Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)||Gr. Konstantopoulos, et al.||17,561||0.24||+0.09||0||—|
|Radical Left Front||D. Desillas, et al.||11,859||0.17||+0.02||0||—|
|United Anti-Capitalist Left[A]||Konstantinos Papadakis, et al.||10,595||0.15||+0.05||0||—|
|Marxist-Leninist Communist Party||Antonis Papadopoulos, et al.||8,088||0.11||+0.05||0||—|
|Liberal Alliance||Fotis Perlikos||7,516||0.11||—||0||—|
|Liberal Party||Manolis Kaligiannis||3,092||0.04||±0||0||—|
|Organization for the Reconstruction of the Communist Party of Greece||Ilias Zafiropoulos, et al.||2,494||0.03||±0||0||—|
|Fighting Socialist Party[B]||Nikos Kargopoulos||2,099||0.03||–0.01||0||—|
|Greek Ecologists[C]||Dimosthenis Vergis||1,740||0.02||—||0||—|
|Light – Truth – Justice (Φως – Αλήθεια – Δικαιοσύνη)[C]||Konstantinos Melissourgos||970||0.01||—||0||—|
|Democratic Universal Hellas (Δημοκρατική Παγκόσμιος Ελλάς)[C]||Stergios Krikelis||10||0.00||—||0||—|
|Regional Urban Development (Περιφερειακή Αστική Ανάπτυξη)[C]||Nikolaos Kolitis||5||0.00||—||0||—|
|New Salvation Party Christian Democracy (Νέο Κόμμα Σωτηρίας Χριστιανική Δημοκρατία)[C]||Alkiviadis Stoilis||1||0.00||—||0||—|
At 1 am, September 17, 2007, PASOK leader George Papandreou conceded defeat and Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis thanked the electorate for granting him and his party a renewed term in office. Papandreou also stated that he will seek his party's direct reaffirmation in his leadership, and Evangelos Venizelos, PASOK's informal #2, declared himself "present" in this process. Papandreou went on and retained his leadership.
Results by region
- New general elections to be called if ruling party fails to secure majority in parliament: Greek PM
- Most of the earlier polls refer to the Coalition of the Left of Movements and Ecology, which is part of the SYRIZA coalition.
- 22/8/2007 DIKKI press release
- 3/9/2007 article by Phileleftheros
- 2/9/2007 DIKKI press release
- "Σε ποιους «έδειξε πόρτα» ο Αρειος Πάγος", in Eleftheros Typos, 3 September 2007
- Exit poll results from in.gr
- Exit poll results from the Ethnos daily newspaper
- Antenna news, Θέμα ηγεσίας στο ΠΑΣΟΚ (leadership issue in PASOK), Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- Dinas, Elias (2008) 'The Greek general election of 2007: you cannot lose if your opponent cannot win,' West European Politics 31: 600-607.
- Gemenis, Kostas (2008) 'The 2007 Parliamentary Election in Greece,' Mediterranean Politics 13: 95-101.
- Gemenis, Kostas (2009) 'A Green comeback in Greece? The Ecologist Greens in the 2007 parliamentary election,' Environmental Politics 18: 128-134.
- Karamichas, John (2007) 'The impact of the summer 2007 forest fires in Greece: recent environmental mobilizations, cyber-activism and electoral performance,' South European Society and Politics 12: 521-33.
- Patrikios, Stratos and Georgios Karyotis (2008) 'The Greek Parliamentary Election of 2007,' Electoral Studies 27: 356-390.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Greek legislative election, 2007.|
- Ta Nea/Athens News election website (English)
- Live election coverage from Athens International Radio (English)