Election on 6th May
Greek interim prime minister Lucas Papademos has finally announced the date of the general election for 6th May. Parliament is expected to reconvene on 17th May.
The election is likely to be a lively affair with the two main parties, New Democracy (ND) and the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) recording low support in opinion polls.
In 2009 PASOK took 160 of the 300 seats in the Panhellenic parliament; New Democracy took 91 seats. Today they will be struggling to achieve half that number of seats, although New democracy is in the lead on around 24% compared with 33.48 seats in 2009. PASOK has been improving in the polls since Evangelos Venizelos became their new leader but they are still on 16% compared with 43.92% in 2009.
Smaller and new parties, who oppose the austerity measures driven through by the two larger parties in a national coalition government over the past few months, are doing much better. The question is whether the smaller parties will win enough seats to reverse the austerity measures, something the markets will be watching with some trepidation.