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Exit poll shows anti-bailout party winning election

Published:Monday | January 26, 2015 | 1:00 AM

ATHENS (AP):A Greek state TV exit poll was projecting that anti-bailout party Syriza had won Sunday's parliamentary elections - in an historic first for a radical left-wing party in Greece.

But it was unclear whether Syriza had won a decisive-enough victory over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' incumbent conservatives to govern alone. For that, they need a minimum 151 of parliament's 300 seats.

The exit poll on Nerit TV projected Syriza as having won with between 35.5 and 39.5 per cent - or 146-158 seats - compared to Samaras' New Democracy with 23-27 per cent, or 65-75 seats.

The centrist Potami (River) party was battling for third place with the Nazi-inspired, extreme right-wing Golden Dawn, whose leadership is in prison pending trial for running a criminal organisation. Both were projected as being between 6.4 and 8 per cent.

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has promised to renegotiate the country's 240 billion-euro ($270 billion) international bailout deal. He has pledged to reverse many of the reforms that creditors demanded in exchange for keeping Greece financially afloat since 2010.

The anti-bailout rhetoric has renewed doubts over Greece's ability to emerge from its financial crisis that has seen a quarter of its economy wiped out, sent unemployment soaring and undermined the euro - the currency shared by 19 European countries.

Greece's creditors insist the country must abide by previous commitments to continue receiving support, and investors and markets alike have been spooked by the anti-bailout rhetoric. Greece could face bankruptcy if a solution is not found, although speculation of a "Grexit" - Greece leaving the euro - and a potential collapse of the currency has been far less fraught than during the last general election in 2012.