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Comparison of Elections for the European and the National Parliament: the case of Greece

Ioannis Andreadis's picture

Publication Type:

Working papers




elections, European Parliament, Greece


A researcher of the latest elections in Greece has to deal with two important issues. The first one is the growing abstention rates, especially from the elections for the European Parliament. The number of votes cast for the 2004 parliamentary elections was about 7.6 millions. The number of those who participated in the 2004 elections for the European Parliament was about 6.3 millions. The number of voters rose again up to 7.35 millions in the parliamentary elections held in 2007, but it dropped to less than 5.3 millions in the 2009 elections for the European Parliament. For the parliamentary elections of 2009 the number of people who have casted their vote is about 7 millions.

The second important issue refers to the changes of the power of the two major Greek political parties. The share of votes for New Democracy followed a declining route since the 2004 parliamentary elections from 45.36% to 41.84% in 2007 to 32.29% in the 2009 elections for the European Parliament and 33.48% in the 2009 parliamentary elections. PASOK won the 2009 parliamentary elections with a vote share of 43.92%.

In this paper we analyze the results of the Parliamentary and the European elections of 2009 with two targets: to explain the high abstention rate from the European elections and to interpret the win of PASOK. Our findings reinforce the view that the European elections are faced by Greek voters as second order elections. Reduced participation, observed mainly in urban areas and younger ages. As far as the 2009 national election is concerned, PASOK enjoys a high loyalty rate (94.7%) among the voters who voted for PASOK in 2007 and earns voters from all other political parties.

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