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Sunday's live blog: European, municipal and regional elections, 2014

All the latest election news from Greece

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The latest news from Greece where citizens voted in European Parliament and second-round municipal and regional elections.

A judicial representative stamps documents inside a classroom used as a polling station in Athens, 25 May 2014 (Photo: Reuters) A judicial representative stamps documents inside a classroom used as a polling station in Athens, 25 May 2014 (Photo: Reuters) Welcome to our live blog on today's municipal and regional elections. This live blog is now closed!



01:30 Look at the time! Way past our bedtime. George Gilson has wrapped up the day's developments in this report: Tsipras claims 'historic' victory for left, Golden Dawn soars.

We're calling it a day. Good night and see you tomorrow!

00:45 With over 42% of the votes counted in the European elections, here's the state of the parties with the number of MEPs they can expect to send to Strasbourg:

Syriza 26.44%, 6 MEPs
New Democracy 23.19%, 5 MEPs
Golden Dawn 9.37%, 3 MEPs
Elia/Pasok 8.05%, 2 MEPs
Potami 6.57%, 2 MEPs
Communist Party 6.01%, 2 MEPs
Independent Greeks 3.39%, 1 MEP

00:40 Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras claimed a historic victory and demanded general elections as soon as possible, saying that the government has lost its legitimacy in Greece and in the EU.

"Tomorrow all of Europe will be talking about Syriza. Already the peoples of Europe are celebrating the defeat of the memorandums in the country chosen as a guinea pig by the European leadership," he told supporters.

Tsipras said voters had rejected the blackmail and scaremongering tactics of the government, which said a Syriza victory will destabilise the country. "Our people gave us the mandate to follow the demands of the times for the creation of a broad alliance, which will not only win the next elections, but will constitute a new, big majority," he said.

25:50 The Greek people have sent a message to the government but have rejected Syriza's call for the coalition to be overturned, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said, commenting on the results of the European and local government elections.

He said his party remains a guarantor of the country's stability so that it can exit the crisis and the memoranda, adding that any injustices will be restored.

Greece is exiting the crisis, with its society united, its direction unchanged and its economy on track to growth, the premier said.

23:10 Democratic Left (Dimar) leader Fotis Kouvelis made a statement on his party's defeat, declaring that the party will evaluate the results, but he gave no indication that he will resign after the party failed to elect a European Parliament member.
"Dimar is and will be present, for the benefit of society and the country," he said. 

23:00 In the last half hour, Mega TV is giving the Athens mayoral race to incumbent Giorgos Kaminis. With almost 20% of the vote counted, Kaminis is on 51.5% and his Syriza opponent, Gabriel Sakellaridis, on 48.36%.

22.55 Here's the state of the parties with just over a quarter of votes counted in European Parliament election:

Syriza 26.5%
New Democracy 23.2%
Golden Dawn 9.3%
Elia/Pasok 8.1%
Potami 6.6%
KKE 6%
Independent Greeks 3.4%

23:45 With almost a quarter of votes counted in the European elections, neonazi Golden Dawn is on 9.35% nationwide. At this stage, it's polling best in the Peloponnese, followed by Central Macedonia and Central Greece.

The following percentages are only indicative of the party's performance, as the counts are continuing. 

11.23% Peloponnese
11.11% Central Macedonia
10.10% Central Greece
9.79% Attica
9.46% Western Macedonia
9.21% Western Greece
8.9% Thessaly
8.51% Eastern Macedonia-Thrace
8.34% Ionian Islands
7.33% Southern Aegean
6.73% Northern Aegean
6.69% Epirus
4.76% Crete

Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris said that his party's high polling numbers came despite its prosecution as a criminal organisation. He said that Syriza backed Samaras in supporting the prosecution against it. He said that Syriza's results showed that it does not represent a social majority of Greeks and he denounced Syriza's views on "illegal immigration".

22:30 In Thessaloniki, incumbent mayor Yannis Boutaris has given a victory speech and said voters reconfirmed his 2010 mandate. He pledged to work for an "open and tolerant city".

"My top priority will be to stop Thessaloniki from being the capital of unemployment," he declared. Current results put Boutaris at 58.1% and his New Democracy opponent Stavros Kalafatis on 41.9%.

22:25 It's been a bad night for Democratic Left, a breakaway from Syriza which was a part of the coalition government until the shutting down of the national broadcaster ERT. The party was polled well below the parliamentary threshold of 3%. The party had hoped to re-elect an outgoing MEP who was elected with Pasok in 2009.

Democratic Left MP Spyros Lykoydis said his party's defeat is a historic defeat for the renewal left. "The policies and political decisions of the last year did not succeed," he said, criticising leader Fotis Kouvelis indirectly. Lykoudis said the message is for DemocraticLeft to work "from tomorrow morning" to forge together a strong union of centre-left forces.

22:20 Supporters give incoming Piraeus mayor Yannis Moralis a hero's welcome at campaign headquarters in the port city. Crowds of Olympiakos fans gathered with flares and and blew horns amid billowing smoke, as seen at football matches.

"This is a great day for Piraeus. Today in Piraeus there are no victors or vanquished. We have a lot of hard work ahead, but we have inexhaustible forces and we will win," he said. He thanked his parents for instilling in him democratic ideals that were rewarded. His father was a Pasok minister.

Olympiakos owner and shipping tycoon Evangelos Marinakis, who backed Moralis and was elected city councillor on his ticket, said this: "Today the people of Piraeus won. I'll do whatever I can to make the kids of Piraeus happy".

22:11 New Democracy's candidate for the governorship of Central Macedonia, Yannis Ioannidis, has conceded defeat to party renegade Apostolos Tzitikostas. 

22:10 Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says Syriza's lead can be overturned in national elections. He said that in past elections New Democracy won the European election by three points but lost the general election months later. He says that tax breaks will be key in shoring up support for the government.

22:05 Which parties did undecided voters opt for in the last week? Mainly Syriza, according to pollster Tomas Gerakis, who spoke to Alpha TV in the last hour: 

21% Syriza
19.3% New Democracy
9.4% Elia/Pasok
9.3% Potami
7.6% Golden Dawn
5.7% Independent Greeks
3.6% Communist Party
3.5% Laos

22:00 Skai is predicting a victory for Rena Dourou (Syriza) in the Attica governorship race. She has 50.1% over incumbent Yannis Squouros 48.9%, the station says. 

21.45 Mega reports that 90% voters from the Muslim minority in Thrace have voted for the Friendship, Equality and Peace (DEB) party, led by Mustafa Ali ÇavuĊŸ. The party represents that part of the minority that generally identifies itself as Turkish. According to the interior ministry's results website, with 14% of the votes counted, DEB is on 7% of the vote. 

21:33 Singular Logic, which is overseeing the collation of results for the interior ministry, has issued its first official projections for the European Parliament vote in Greece:

Syriza 26.7%
New Democracy 22.8%
Golden Dawn 9.3%
Elia/Pasok 8.1%
Potami 6.7%
Communists (KKE) 6%
Independent Greeks 3.4%

21:20 The mayor of Piraeus has conceded defeat. At 9pm, Vasilis Michaloliakos appearaed before TV cameras to make an informal concession of defeat to opponent Yannis Moralis (vice-chairman of Olympiakos football club). Exit polls said Moralis had 60% to MIchaloliakos' 40%. Moralis' team includes Olympiakos chairman and shipping tycoon Evangelos Marinakis.

21:15 In some key constituencies, Syriza has a large lead: including in Greater Piraeus (17.5 points ahead), Greater Athens (5 points ahead), and Viotia 6 points ahead.

21:10 Syriza's spokesman Panos Skourletis has told state-run ANA news agency that the exit polls point to "a great victory for Syriza", one that further deprives the government of its legitimacy.

Skourletis said that "provided that the picture emerging from the exit polls is confirmed, we are speaking of a great victory for Syriza, of historic dimensions that will speed up historic developments. For the first time Syriza, a party of the left, is emerging as the first force. The map of the political forces, in essence, as we had seen it in the previous decades, has definitely changed. We must wait until later tonight to see what the real picture will be."

Skourletis said that the government was elected with a different programme than it has implemented in the past two years. He also said that the government cannot handle or negotiate issues concerning Greece's debt.

"It now lacks this political legitimacy," he added.

21:04 In his first reaction to his party's showing in the exit polls, Syriza's leader Alexis Tsipras said that "the best goals are scored in the second half of the match."

He said the same last week, journalist Demetris Nellas points out: 

21:01 In Thessaloniki, a University of Macedonia exit poll for Skai TV gives incumbent Mayor Yannis Boutaris 58% and challenger Stavros Kalafatis 42%.

21:00 Outgoing New Democracy MEP Marietta Giannakou says she believes it is likely that Golden Dawn MEPs will form a new party bloc in the European Parliament, with other extreme rightwing parties. 

20:50 The head of New Democracy's parliamentary group has ruled out general elections because Syriza's lead was not so significant. Speaking on Alpha TV, Makis Voridis said Syriza's attempt to make the polls a referendum failed.

20:40 According to the FINAL EXIT POLLS, Syriza is in the lead. 

Syriza 26-28%
ND 23-25%
Golden Dawn 9-10%
Elia/Pasok 8-9%
Potami 6-7%
Communists (KKE) 5-6.5%
Independent Greeks 3.3-4.3%
Laos 2-3%
Democratic Left 1.5-2.5%
Others 9.2-11.2%

20:30 How would the exit polls translate into MEP seats? Journalist Konstantinos Zoulas estimates that the allocation of Greece's 21 seats could be the following: 

Syriza 6
New Democracy 6
Golden Dawn 2
Elia/Pasok 2
Potami 2
KKE 2
Independent Greeks 1

20:25 Based on current exit poll data, pollsters on Alpha TV say that Syriza could end up with a spread of between one and seven percentage points ahead of New Democracy. 

20:20 Some parties are complaining of incidents at polling stations earlier.

The small, leftist party Antarsya charges that four party members monotoring the vote at a KIfisia polling station (20th gymnasium) were verbally attacked outside of the precinct and and cursed by a group of 20 Golden Dawn supporters. Antrasya says police were present and did not intervene.

The Left.gr website, which is sympathetic to Syriza, reports that in several Athens polling stations voters were not handed ballots of Athens mayoral candidate Gabriel Sakellaridis.

20:13 Syriza says the exit polls show the country is at a "historic juncture", according to Nikos Pappas, head of Alexis Tsipras's political office.

"We are at a historic juncture if the exit polls are confirmed. Today is not just a shift in the two-party system. It shows Syriza has come of age and is here to stay. It is our fate to take Greece on our shoulders and nurse the country's wounds."

20:10 More reaction from New Democracy. Spokesperson Anna Assimakopoulou says she sees no electoral upheaval or upset.

"The European Parliament result shows people value stability," she said, adding that the result is a message of protest from voters over the "pain, sacrifices and the injustices they want rectified immediately".

20:05 Pasok are in damage limitation mode and are trying to shift the attention away from its own poor performance to the shortcomings of Syriza's own expectations. Pasok MP Paris Koukoulopoulos, a close associate of leader Evangelos Venizelos, says the exit poll forced Syriza to retract its pre-electoral aim of exceeding the combined vote of New Democracy and Pasok

20:00 The past is another country. Let's remind ourselves of the results of the last European Parliament elections in Greece, held in June 2009

Pasok 36.64%
New Democracy 32.29%
Communist Party (KKE) 8.35%
Popular Orthodox Rally 7.14%
Syriza 4.7%
Ecologists Greens 3.49%

19:57 Journalist and Syriza radio 105.5 FM director Kostas Arvanitis says that Pasok is no winner as the party went from over 36% to under 10% since the last European election. 

He says newcomer Potami's result will be important: there is a big difference between 5% and 7%.

He says Golden Dawn has a solid 8-10% and that Premier Samaras and his former top advisor Takis Baltakos are to blame for the fascist rise, because ND sought cooperation with the neonazis in the past.

19:55 Daily Ethnos editor Thanasis Tsekouras says a Syriza lead of over 5% points in the European elections will create a problem for government. He says result shows Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has a problem with certain ministers and the government's makeup. He believes that Syriza will likely wait until February, when parliament elects a new state president, to force elections, unless it finishes with a large lead over New Democracy. 

19:50 Just a reminder of what Syriza needs to achieve in order to beat previous records for leftwing parties: in June 2012, the party received 28.89%, which beat the previous best for the left (in 1958, when the United Democratic Left received 24.4%). But if Syriza tops the poll, it will be a historic first for the left in Greece.  

19:43 New Democracy are trying to differentiate the European election results from the local government results: Former New Democracy party secretary Manolis Kefalogiannis has told Alpha TV that the European Parliament result is a protest message to the government. He also said the overall result locally is bad for Syriza as people don't even trust it to "run a kiosk", meaning that Syriza did poorly in mayor and governor races nationwide.

19:40 Skai TV is now providing the following exit poll for the Attica governorship race:

Rena Dourou (Syriza) 45.5-51.5%
Giannis Sgouros (government-backed) 48.5-54.5%

19.38 Of course, exit polls are exit polls. Last Sunday, the exit polls turned out to be way off the eventual result. In next few hours will determine whether today's poll is more accurate. 

19:35 Guarded about the final result, Syriza is telling reporters this is first time a leftwing party could finish first in a Greek election

19:31 Syriza MP Panagiotis Lafazanis, a leading representative of the party's Left Platform, rejects the argument that a Syriza win would require that it receive more votes than New Democracy and Pasok combined.

"You are trying to make the losers winners," he said on Alpha TV. "It's the first time a radical left party is first in Greece, and perhaps Europe," he said.

Media had reported that Syriza itself hoped to exceed the combined numbers of ND and Pasok.

19:30 In Thessaloniki, it's looking like incumbent Yannis Boutaris is in the lead over his New Democracy challenger, according to an exit poll announced on Skai TV:

Yannis Boutaris 58-60%
Stavros Kalafatis (ND) 42-46%

19:25 The message from New Democracy party headquarters is that "There is no issue of early elections or government stability", according to Ant1 TV, which is sympathetic to the government. 

19:25 If the exit polls bear out, this will be an historic victory for the left in Greece, which was never come first in an election.

19:15 The same exit poll says its neck and neck in the race for the Attica governorship: 

Rena Dourou (Syriza) 48-52%
Giannis Sgouros (govt-backed) 48-52%

19:05 UPDATED According to the exit poll from a consortium of five polling companies, announced on three private TV stations (Mega, Ant1/Alpha), Syriza is in the lead:

Syriza 26-30%
ND 23-27%
Golden Dawn 8-10%
Elia/Pasok 7-9%
Communists 5-7%
Potami (River) 5-7%
Independent Greeks 3.5-5%
Democratic Left 1.5-2.5%
Popular Orthodox Rally 1.5-2.5%
Other 9-10.5%

19:00 Polls have closed

18:45 Welcome to our live blog on today's European Parliament and second-round municipal and regional elections in Greece. Damian Mac Con UIadh and George Gilson here. The results will show how much support remains domestically for the coalition since it came to power after the general election in June 2012.

Polling stations opened at 7am and voters will be able to cast their ballot until 7pm.

According to interior ministry, 9,884,846 Greek and EU citizens are entitled to vote in the European elections in Greece and 9,890,854 Greek citizens in the second-round of the local elections.

Some 1,299 candidates from 43 parties and coalitions are in the running for Greece's 21 seats in the 751-strong European Parliament

The first round of the local elections were held last Sunday. Second-round polls were held in 211 municipalities and 12 out of 13 regions where no candidate for mayor or regional governor achieved 50% plus one vote of the valid poll.


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