Left-wing Syriza wins Greek vote, will form coalition gov't
A jubilant Alexis Tsipras vowed to continue fighting for his country's pride and to quickly form a coalition government after his left-wing Syriza party comfortably won Greece's third national vote this year on Sunday.
The result was a resounding success for Tsipras' high-risk gamble when he resigned as prime minister last month and triggered an early election, barely seven months into his four-year term, in order to face down an internal Syriza rebellion over his policy U-turn to accept painful austerity measures in return for Greece's third international bailout.
With more than 80 per cent of the vote counted, Syriza stood at 35.5 per cent of the vote and 145 seats in the 300-member parliament, followed by the conservative New Democracy with 28.3 per cent and 75 seats and the Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn in third place with seven per cent and 18 seats. Abstention was particularly high, at nearly 45 per cent in an election-weary country with a traditionally high voter turnout.
It was the third time this year Greeks have voted, after the January election that brought Tsipras to power on an anti-bailout platform, and a July referendum he called urging Greeks to reject creditor reform proposals, which they resoundingly did, shortly before Tsipras then accepted similar proposals as part of the new bailout.
Six seats shy of an absolute majority, Tsipras said he would form a government with his previous coalition partner, the right-wing Independent Greeks of Panos Kammenos, who joined him on stage to rapturous applause from dancing, cheering Syriza supporters in central Athens. The Independent Greeks were in seventh place with 3.6 per cent of the vote and 10 parliamentary seats.