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Brief Greek election polling update

by talos Fri Mar 16th, 2012 at 11:06:34 AM EST

So as Greek society collapses economically, in an unprecedented depression. The scene is supposedly set (barring an order to the contrary by our troikan overlords) for elections... If they are announced, as promised, they will occur either on 29/4 or 6/5 and seem to be a turning event in the country's history:


Latest poll:
Public Issue: Final Estimate:

  • ND (conservatives, now staunchly pro-troika, a month ago anti-memorandum) -  25% (-3% from 15 days ago, -7,5% from its historical low result in the 2009 elections)

  • PASOK - (The party of George Papandreou which will confirm its new leader and current Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, "Socialist" presumably) - 11% (steady from previous PI poll, 15 days ago, -33% from the 2009 elections)

  • KKE (Sovietophile communist party of Greece, very strong among manual laborers) - 11,5% (Up 0,5% from previous PI poll, up 4% from 2009 result)

  • SYRIZA (European Left Party, a coalition of parties raging from Eurocommunist to former maoists and now many from PASOK's left flank) - 12% (steady, up 7,5% from 2009 election)

  • LAOS (Far right, nationalist, anti-immigrant party, wavering between pro- and anti- troika positions) 4% (steady, down - 3,5% from 2009 elections)

  • DemAr(Democratic Left, a right-splinter from SYRIZA, soft anti-troika, collaborates with recent political refugees from PASOK) 15,5% (down -0,5% from recent)

  • Anexartiti Ellines (Independent Greeks - Populist Right, anti-troika, for national independence, split a few weeks ago from ND after its acceptance of the new memorandum, not fascist) 6,5%

  • Greens (Green Party, anti-troika, more on the French Greens line than the German), 3,5% (down, -0,5 from recent, up 1% from 2009)

  • Chryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn, Nazi Party, National Socialist, with plenty of violent activity, IMHO the para-state incarnate, very fiercely anti-immigrant, rules part of down-town Athens where they play the role of police "protecting" locals from  dark-skinned immigrants) 3% (down -0,5% from recent, up 2,7% from 2009 - this is the lowest such estimate recently, it has polled elsewhere up to 5%)

  • Dimokratiki Symmakhia (Democratic Allience - Neolib splinter from ND party, staunchly pro-troika from the beggining) 2% (steady)

  • ANTARSYA (Left of SYRIZA, anticapitalists) 1% (steady, up0,6% from 2009)

The new (formed 5 days ago) splinter party that left PASOK, under former Economy Minister Louka Katseli, was not included in the poll, it has what remains of more or less reluctant collaborators with the troika, including the little that is left from its union base -

250 seats are divided between parties that manage to pass the 3% limit. 50 are given as a bonus to the first party.

When and if elections are announced, however, we will see where the trends will be heading...

In the meantime the Greek Independence day is coming (March 25) and the ruling political elites are scared solid about what might happen, after the latest parade-day became a massive protest against austerity. The usually boring parade will be full with undercover anti-terrorist cops and riot police, apparently, so that no one has the gall to insult our great leaders and our national holiday with the throw of an egg, or something...

Having said that a new poll by the Panteion University of Social Science in Athens, shows that 1 in 3 Greeks applaud (not just tolerate) egg and yogurt throwing against politicians, one in four support physical violence against politicians, and a staggering one in eight declare themselves willing to clash with the police...

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European Tribune - Brief Greek election polling update

250 seats are divided between parties that manage to pass the 3% limit. 50 are given as a bonus to the first party.

200 divided proportionally, of which about 75 is needed to gain majority if it is also biggest party (and receives the +50), so about 38%. Looks like it will be hard to form a majority coalition even with the +50 rule.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Mar 16th, 2012 at 12:18:49 PM EST
No, 250 divided proportionally and 300 altogether. So 101 needed out of 250. If 92% of voters will vote for parties passing the 3% limit, then you need about 37%. If only 85% get represented, then slightly over 34% is enough.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 16th, 2012 at 04:23:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
50 are given as a bonus to the first party.

That's pretty brazen as non-proportional systems go...

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 16th, 2012 at 12:25:47 PM EST
Guarantees a strong government, dontcha know.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 16th, 2012 at 12:42:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Brief Greek election polling update
Having said that a new poll by the Panteion University of Social Science in Athens, shows that 1 in 3 Greeks applaud (not just tolerate) egg and yogurt throwing against politicians, one in four support physical violence against politicians, and a staggering one in eight declare themselves willing to clash with the police...

My old history prof claimed that when about 5% of the population is willing to physically fight the government it is toast. I don't think there was a source to the calculation, but rather a his estimate looking at revolutions over time.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Mar 16th, 2012 at 02:43:48 PM EST
I suppose that saying something is not the same as actually doing it, but still, yes, these are pre-revolt numbers...

Note that there are a number of Patriotic Militias brewing, right now, and this rage is fueling anti-immigrant attacks and nazi recruits. It can be channeled to many different ends...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Mar 16th, 2012 at 07:10:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  • Is an electoral coalition (to get the extra 50 seats) a legal possibility?
  • If yes, is it a political possibility in any constellation?
  • You repeatedly wrote about KKE's going-it-alone attitude, but what is the relationship of SYRIZA and DemAr?
  • Can DemAr be trusted to not fold to the troika once in government?


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 16th, 2012 at 04:14:29 PM EST
Ah, and since they are new to the poll: how do you estimate the chances of Anexartiti Ellines? (Will it be a bursting bubble or could it further damage ND?)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 16th, 2012 at 04:17:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
- Is an electoral coalition (to get the extra 50 seats) a legal possibility?
There are some requirements (the coalition should run as a united list), but yes. It is.

If yes, is it a political possibility in any constellation? You repeatedly wrote about KKE's going-it-alone attitude, but what is the relationship of SYRIZA and DemAr?
Apparently not. Only SYRIZA is pushing the idea on the left anti-troika side of the table, but the others are not budging. The CP condemns the opportunists who are trying to "save capitalism". The Democratic Left, is trying to be very posh and serious and are flirting with a position "memorandum bad but now it is a done deal, and let's accept it and move forward" so they are not responding either. They are accusing SYRIZA of being some sort of extremists, while they are the "responsible left". Despite the fact that SYRIZA's Left Front platform (demand a moratorium on debt payments for 3-5 years and use a fraction of the money to heat the frozen economy, in some sort of stable environment) is a bit to the right of Paul Krugman.

The Greens seem to be in a bind as not all of the polls show them over the 3% limit. They're vacillating.

Can DemAr be trusted to not fold to the troika once in government?
IMHO, no. They'll lose a few MPs if they do fold, but their right wing is openly pro-troika already to some extent. If they do score as well as the polls show, it is certain that much of their parliamentary team will be former PASOK MPs and cadres...

how do you estimate the chances of Anexartiti Ellines? (Will it be a bursting bubble or could it further damage ND?)
It will damage ND. They have the conservative unions with them, mostly, and quite a few populist commentators and journalists. They have the ear of the conservative grass-roots.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Mar 16th, 2012 at 07:03:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Anexartiti Ellines manages to further damage ND or ND otherwise decines to c. 20%, then it would take only any 2 out of SYRIZA (12%), PASOK (11%), and DemAr (15,5%) acting in coalition to achieve the 50 seat bonus and form the core of a new centre left broadly anti-troika Government.

Then the EU would have to impose another ECB Government

We no longer live in a Democracy, it is a Eumocracy...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 20th, 2012 at 11:15:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
PASOK is not center-left anymore, they were the government that introduced the IMF and austerity: they are not anti-troika

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2012 at 06:14:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You need to repeat that more often.

And, like I predicted in another post, the viciousness with which they'll attack anything on the left during the campaign will make ultra-fascists blush.... Mark my words.

by Euroliberal on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:00:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The so-called "Social Democrats" have occupied the Social Liberal space (especially where there wasn't a pre-existing Social-Liberal party), leaving the traditional Social-Democrat space to be colonised by Socialist or post-communist parties. Just recently in Spain a representative from the United Left said something to the effect of "defending Keynesianism has become akin to defending Marxism" - both in the sense that they on the left are now taking Keynesian positions, but also in the sense that Keynes is now considered as "radical" by the mainstream as Marx was 30 years ago.

But this is nothing new. The Portuguese Social Democratic Party is a centre-right party in the EPP and has given us Barroso. The Danish Venstre ("left") got its name at the turn of the 20th century when liberals were to the left of the political spectrum. Now they are right-wing liberals. They haven't moved, nor has their name changed, but the political spectrum has shifted under them.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:09:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It may be of some interest that according to a recent poll the public perception of PASOK's political inclinations is pretty diverse. 31% (25% among its 2009 voters) can't place it on the left-right spectrum  all together, 11,5 (15%) thinks it is center-left,10% (15%) places it at the center, 18,7% (23%) on the center-right, 17% (15,4%) on the right, and 10,6% (7%) on the_extreme_ right! A few years ago it was solidly between center and center left...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 06:43:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't aware of that. Pretty accurate.
by Euroliberal on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 07:58:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The poll, (in Greek) MSWord file p.54

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2012 at 08:36:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless i made a key entry error the total of those shown is 83%. Is there any estimates on whether those that might fall into the other 17% might vote and how they might vote? And are any of the anit-troika parties proposing clear alternatives to the present course.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2012 at 01:12:07 AM EST
You missed 12%! They add up to 95%. The rest of the 95% is "others", which could mean anything from "Arma Politon" (yet another splinter group from the pulverization of the socialists), to the Hunter party, to the Communist Party of Greece (Marxist - Leninist) (which BTW recently announced that is re-merging with the Marxist Leninist Communist Party of Greece. A monumental move...)

The anti-troika parties propose:

The Communist Party: the Nationalization of all major industries and a process of seccession from the EU and leaving the euro, refuse paying back any debt.

SYRIZA: Demanding a 3-5 year moratorium on payments, that would include using a small part of the bail-out money to heat=up the economy on a plan that would include creation of public sector jobs ("green", social, infrastructure etc) and nationalization of at least part of the banking system, through which SMEs could be funded, along with an internal debt haircut for indebted households and businesses proportional to income. Annulment of changes in labor law

DemAr: The renegotiation of parts of the treaty, and the creation of a plan that would substitute cost-cutting measures striking at the core of the welfare state with other expenditures and a review of labor laws. Working with the troika and the EU to find a gentler path towards restructuring. They are also implying that such negotiations might be (starting with the French elections) much more politically viable in the near future.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2012 at 07:22:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
talos:
You missed 12%! They add up to 95%. The rest of the 95% is "others", which could mean anything from "Arma Politon" (yet another splinter group from the pulverization of the socialists), to the Hunter party, to the Communist Party of Greece (Marxist - Leninist) (which BTW recently announced that is re-merging with the Marxist Leninist Communist Party of Greece. A monumental move...)

And of course Κόμμα Πειρατών Ελλάδας.

That would be the Pirates. Founded January this year, I hope they manage to pass the hurdles to run (there is always hurdels), as it builds organisation and gives experience.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Mar 17th, 2012 at 08:51:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IMHO the Pirates shouldn't run this year because 1. They managed to publish a manifesto without a single reference to the crisis and 2. They will probably cost the Greens their parliamentary entry, which is IMHO not good. They should wait it out and try to develop a political range that goes beyond what they offer, which is now a single issue party, when that single issue is not the economy won't gain much traction in a country that is undergoing a socioeconomic collapse

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2012 at 07:10:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they appear to be the startup version. It tends to get 0.1-0.6% of votes (if they missed that there is a crisis, I would guess more 0.1 then 0.6). The reason I am not particularly afraid that these will come out of the greens (because the greens missing parliament would be bad), is that the Pirates effectively tend to strenghten more established parties that has the same issues somewhere on their agenda, usually the greens. They are more effective in getting attention to the policies then getting the votes, as voters tend not to vote for a party that says nothing on other important issues of the day.

However, the Pirate parties that has reached electoral success has usually gone through this phase. Traction on the issues and doing the election things builds a group, that then realises they need more to get more votes and start to process how they can expand their agenda without breaking the existing group.

That was why my hope was for electoral participation, not electoral success.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Mar 18th, 2012 at 04:31:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Working with the troika and the EU to find a gentler path towards restructuring.

For a re-negotiation to produce significant results, you need (1) a partner, and (2) an "or else" option the other side wants to avoid. IOW DemAr's position seems suicidal and weaker than I expected. However, what if there is a troika-critical majority in parliament? Would they be capable of seeing SYRIZA as the supplier of the "or else" option? if not, then it would appear to me that only a collapse of ND would provide for an outcome presenting any hope for Greece.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Mar 17th, 2012 at 02:28:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frankly I think their position is a compromise between various factions in the party, ranging from pro-SYRIZA to pro-Papademos. In a critical moment I think they'll break in two. Interestingly Anexartiti Ellines, might be more capable of supporting SYRIZA's position on a very limited emergency government agenda.

But yes, ND is the critical factor now, whether they'll hold or fold during the campaign, and whether they won't shy away from elections. Because IMHO if the polls turn even weirder, the powers that be will try to postpone the elections...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2012 at 07:31:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Much closer to elections date, things will change significantly IMO.

The Centrists (PASOK+ND) will zip the "nuclear option" of US vs Chaos and it will be enough to scare lots of people.

Pasok will attack the Left viciously and ND will do the same against their deserters and those to their right.

The rigged election law will take care of the rest.

The only unknown is if true violence is just around the corner.

by Euroliberal on Sun Mar 18th, 2012 at 05:59:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I am hearing this scenario a lot. The only problem is that for a huge number of people the "Chaos" option is moot. They are already living destroyed lives. The last time PASOK attacked the left viciously, the left doubled its percentages, because the opprobrium against the accusers is such that an attack sounds like high praise. They will play the "fear of being kicked out of the Euro" of course - but still...

I think violence is indeed around the corner...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun Mar 18th, 2012 at 06:38:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Violence of whom against whom?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 18th, 2012 at 06:40:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well.... the recent polls have given the impression to many that the anti-status quo forces will finally get a chance to -let's say- make an impact on policy by having greater representation.
An outcome which would relegate them (once more) into irrelevancy might not be so readily accepted as the "true will" of the people and all that will be needed to transform their justified indignation from protests to outright violence would be for ex. accusations of fraud or other conspiracy theories which are much more believable in the current Greek political context.

The electoral law is rigged and nobody disputes that. All it takes, is for 10% of the vote to be wasted on parties that never had a chance to gain 1 seat and other small parties currently polling at 3%-5% not making it afterall. PASOK (my opinion) will probably go as high as 15%-18% which will lead to a centrist govnt lead by.... the Troika/IMF candidate, Papademos.

by Euroliberal on Mon Mar 19th, 2012 at 06:08:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exiled Online:
DISPATCH FROM GREECE: YOGURT AS A FORM OF POLITICAL PROTEST
(By Kostas Kallergis, MARCH 11, 2012)
Originally, "yogurt throwing" was a means of protest against authority by Greek youngsters in the late 1950s. They were called "Teddy Boys", a name borrowed from the homonymous British subculture. You see, food throwing was traditionally a form of protest (preferable rotten eggs or tomatoes) but it was only in 1950s when the plastic cup substituted yogurt's classic ceramic pot, a marketing move that made yogurt a non-lethal weapon. The trend of yogurt-throwing was fiercely fought by the authorities with the legendary "Law 4000/1958″ according to which offenders were arrested, had their heads shaved and paraded through the streets of Athens.

...

The law was withdrawn in 1983, by Andreas Papandreou. In 1997, a builder who was member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) threw a yogurt on the then Minister of Employment, Miltiadis Papaioannou (now Minister of Justice) and his then Deputy Minister Christos Protopappas (now PASOK's Parliamentary Group Representative) . The court decided that yogurt throwing was not an offense that had to be tried automatically but only if a lawsuit is filed by the victim.

...

According to an article of Eleftherotypia newspaper, written by Georgia Linardou, in 2011 two members of the government and one MP have been attacked with yogurts. Last March, the vice president of the government Theodoros Pangalos was attacked while having dinner at a town just outside Athens. Some months later, Minister of Interior Haris Kastanidis was attacked in a similar fashion while watching "Midnight in Paris" at a cinema in Thessaloniki. Liana Kanelli, an MP with the Communist Party of Greece, has also been attacked with yogurt in June 2011, while she was trying to get through a block of protesters in order to reach the Parliament for the vote on the Mid-Term Program.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2012 at 09:44:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the March 25th independence day parades, the anti-terrorist squad and the secret service will be on the look-out for people carrying yoghurt or eggs in their bags. The major media (regime-friendly all of them) and various state-intellectuals  are on a campaign to convince everyone that these forms of protest are morally equivalent to shooting people.
A batch of protesters who booed the President in a previous occasion are on trial now for "insulting the office of the president" or something equally North-Korean sounding...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2012 at 10:07:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry that I don't bite the poll results but it's just experience. It's a small country and we know the party and robber baron commitments of every single polling company and how they use poll "results" to manipulate voters. And disenchantent voters like to claim they vote otherwise, but in the end they vote one of the two large parties (78% combined in 2009). Now newer polls "say" that the two parties are close to 33% each, while DemAr is all of a sudden very low. In the end we'll get a ND around 40% (and 151+ seats) and a Pasok at around 30% (all of a sudden, after the election of the new party leader). And then business as usual...

"Eurozone leaders have turned a 50bn Greek solvency problem into a 1,000bn existential crisis for the European Union." David Miliband
by Kostis Papadimitriou on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 09:59:48 AM EST
Actually I'd place a very large bet against the possibility that a. PASOK will top 20% and/or b. ND 30% :-) The reason that I trust Public Issue on these things is because they are a partner of the Alafouzos media group. This is a media group more pro-troika than the troika itself, often to comical extreme. I think it would be inconceivable that they would massage these numbers in any other way besides in the direction of augmenting the pro-IMF parties. Yet they consistently don't. My environment is full of PASOK 2009 voters. Among those under 70, 9 out of 10 of these people are definitely not going to vote PASOK, and among those under 40 none at all, indeed most are active supporters of one or the other left party or PASOK splinter.

I have not seen any poll that claims that either former "large"party is at 33%, and that includes the ND private opinion polls, that I have had a peek at. Indeed apart from a few outliers, most polls are broadly consistent with each other and converge on roughly the same picture.

Having said that: The one thing all pollsters seem to agree on is that this is an unprecedented political turmoil and that it is very difficult to make any predictions with great confidence.

See for example a new poll from VPRC, (again final vote estimate):

ND 22,5% (-5% from last month)
PASOK 12,5 % (+1,5% from last month)
KKE 12,5% (-1,5%)
SYRIZA 12% (-1,5%)
Anexartiti Ellines 11% (N/A)!
Dimokratiki Aristera 11,5% (-4,5%%)
LAOS 3% (-1,5%)
Chryssi Avgi 3,5% (+1%)
Greens 2,5% (-1%)
Dimokratiki Symmakhia 2% (even)

etc...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:23:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So does that mean AE drew voters all from leftist parties?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 02:09:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No ND mainly, along with the left parties (KKE and SYRIZA) - but that's redirecting former ND voters towards them, probably. DimAr probably lost to PASOK (what with the new leader and such) as well. AE are crippling NDs chances of forming a government even with PASOK

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Mar 21st, 2012 at 02:52:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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