Alarming rise of Golden Dawn in Athens

Neonazis garners first place finish or double digit numbers in working- and middle-class neighbourhoods

Despite months of prosecution as a criminal organisation, neonazi Golden Dawn held its own in the major Athens and Attica region

Golden Dawn's spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris delivers a speech during an election campaign meeting in Athens, 15 May 2014 (Photo: AFP) Golden Dawn's spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris delivers a speech during an election campaign meeting in Athens, 15 May 2014 (Photo: AFP) Despite months of prosecution as a criminal organisation and the incarceration of many of its MPs, the neonazi Golden Dawn party saw a dramatic rise in its polling numbers in Athens, where its political support is concentrated.

Ilias Kasidiaris 16% showing in the Athens mayoral race may not have been the upset that Golden Dawn hoped for by making it into the second round, but it was a stunning and alarming rise from the party's 2012 showing in the city of Athens, which was a mere 7.81%.

In Attika, where the neonazi party leader Nikos Michaloliakos garnered 7.9% in last general election, Golden Dawn candidate Ilias Panagiotaros garnered 11.11%.

But in certain of the more working class areas of Athens, Golden Dawn saw its numbers soar.

In the capital's fourth electoral ward, which includes Akadimia Platonos, Kolonos and Sepolia, Golden Dawn placed first, with a whopping 20.7% of the vote.

In the sixth electoral ward, which includes neighbourhoods with populous migrant communities such as Kypseli and Patisia, Golden Dawn clinched 18.8% of the vote.

But even in certain middle and upper income areas, such as Ampelokipoi and Kolonaki, the extreme right party garnered a notable 14% and 13.7%, respectively.

However in Piraeus, in which Golden Dawn has organised cells of support and organised assault squads, the party had a drop in support, possibly because of the murder of leftwing rapper Pavlos Fyssas last September.

There, Golden Dawn candidate Nikos Kouzoulos garnered only 5.68% of the vote, compared to the 8.26% it got in the 2012 general elections.

Regional vote

After Attica, Golden Dawn polled best in the Peloponnese and Central Greece regions. In all 13 regions, the party managed to win around 455,000 votes, which is more than number they won in the May (440,966, or 6.97%) and June (426,025, or 6.92%) elections in 2012.

While the counts are ongoing, the party seems to have increased its share to about 7.5%. It's deeply worrying for any democratic society, but it's not the breakthrough the Golden Dawn and its supporters were predicting ahead of the elections. 

Here's the picture with votes nearly counted in three and almost complete in ten regions: 

11.13% Attica (180,828+ votes)
9.01% Central Greece (29,129+ votes)
8.96% Peloponnese (31,985+ votes)
8.73% Central Macedonia (85,185+ votes)
7.82% Western Greece (31,338+ votes)
6.92% Thessaly (30,535+ votes)
5.96% Eastern Macedonia-Thrace (20,898+ votes)
5.73% Southern Aegean (9,663+ votes)
5.16% Ionian Islands (6,118 votes)
4.71% Western Macedonia (8,982 votes)
3.94% Epirus (8,503 votes)
3.35% Crete (11,408+ votes)
(No candidate in the Northern Aegean)

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Golden Dawn
Ilias Panayiotaros
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Ilias Kasidiaris