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Greek elections: The electoral law determines either self-reliance or coalition!

The critical answer to the crucial question which all address, that is if self-reliance is possible and under which conditions, is completely unclear because it depends on many conundrums and unknown parameters which will finally determine the winner of the elections.

By: EBR - Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The polls’ results on January 25 are open to anything since the conditions are so uncertain that may result from self- reliance to a lack of a sustainable government.
The polls’ results on January 25 are open to anything since the conditions are so uncertain that may result from self- reliance to a lack of a sustainable government.

by Fanis Zouropoulos *


The polls’ results on January 25 are open to anything since the conditions are so uncertain that may result from self- reliance to a lack of a sustainable government... 

Everything depends on the philosophy of the notorious current electoral law by the former Minister of Internal Affairs Mr. Prokopis Pavlopoulos, increasing the bonus of the seats for the first elected party from 40 to 50 and splitting the remaining 250 proportionally to parties which will pass 3% and therefore be able to enter the Parliament’s gate. 

The critical answer to the crucial question which all address, that is if self-reliance is possible and under which conditions, is completely unclear because it depends on many conundrums and unknown parameters which will finally determine the winner of the elections. 

We will however try to give an answer as to whether we will have a self-reliant government on the evening of January 25th. 

These elections are for everyone (even the Pollsters) the more uncertain in recent years: The first and certain issue is that self-reliance does not depend on the percentages of the first two parties (there is no uncertainty that these will be SYRIZA and ND), but on the parties that will remain outside the Parliament and on the cumulative percentage which will be gathered by them. 

Theoretically, the minimum percentage for the first party to acquire self-reliance is 40.4% with the theoretical -always- provision that the parties which will be excluded from Parliament will have 0% (!), something which of course does not apply. 

From there onwards, the mysteries and the wiles of the electoral law will begin. 

Namely: For every 1% that the off-Parliament parties will acquire the required rate of self-reliance will be reduced by 0.4%. 

Thus, with, for example 1% cumulative percentage of the excluded from Parliament parties, the bar of self-reliance goes down from 40.4% to 40% and so on. 

The calculation is as follows: If the cumulative rate of the excluded from Parliament parties is 10%, then multiplied by 0.4% equals 4%. 

This is deducted from the minimum rate of self-reliance (40.4%) and the bar goes down to 36.4%. 

For example, at the elections of May 2012 the rate gathered by the excluded from Parliament parties, which was exceeding 9%, the bar of self-reliance was moving at 36.8% (ND had 18.85% and SYRIZA 16.79%), while one month later, in June 2012, the corresponding proportion of the excluded from Parliament parties declined to 6%, raising the bar of self-reliance to 38% (ND got 29.66% and SYRIZA 26,89%). 

The key therefore of the developments is clearly the cumulative percentage of those parties which will not catch the ceiling of 3%. 

Thus, if for example, the off-Parliament parties bring together 5%, the bar of self-reliance of the first party will move to 38.4%, 6% to 38%, 7% to 37.6%, 8% to 37.2% at 9 in 36.8% and 10% at 36.4% ... 

From here onwards, any assessment and scenario adopted can be the actual outcome... 

Based on existing successive polls, the predominance of SYRIZA is "locked", but self-reliance is not at all easy. A serious poll released some hours ago, appears as one possible scenario a six-party Parliament (SYRIZA, ND, The POTAMI, KKE, Golden Dawn and PASOK) with the off-Parliament parties (ANEL, KIDHSO and the rest) to be at a range of 10-12% which means that the bar of self-reliance will range from 36.4 to 35.6% (the same measurement gave SYRIZA 28.5% and 25.3% at ND). 

Two imponderables factors, according to experienced analysts, will affect the election outcome and also whether the winner will have self-reliance:The first is "Golden Dawn", which no poll gives the percentage which was achieved at the 2012 elections (6.9%), so it appears as it will not be the third party to receive the exploratory mandate. 

However, some researchers assume that this is the case because its followers refuse to declare their preferences at the research polls and Golden Dawn will result as a third party. 

The second imponderable factor is the newly established party of George Papandreou, which until now receives some notable rates only in the regions of Achaia and Crete, while in other areas it is not at allstatistically identified, making it difficult for the Pollsters to forecast. 

If the percentage ends  at around 3% (as it currently moves) this will be proved a determinant factor for the self-reliance. On the evening of January 25th all scenarios are possible regarding the outcome of the elections. 

The results will determine whether we will have right away a self-reliant or a coalition government or repletion of elections in one month after the formation of the Parliament. 

Whichever the outcome, the Parliament which will occur will be the one to elect for the first time - without a self-reliant government, but with a relative majority - the President of the Hellenic Republic!

* Fanis Zouropoulos is ex Chairman of E.I.E.T. and executive president of the Association of European Journalists (EEDE)

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