‘Not something I’m proud of’: six Greeks explain their election choice

Economic policies seemed to swing it with voters as PM’s party finishes 20 percentage points ahead of the left opposition

By Clea Skopeliti
22 May 2023

New Democracy enjoyed a landslide victory in Greece on Sunday that put it far ahead of the leftwing opposition, which fared worse than forecasted.

Despite securing 41% of the vote, under new election rules the party remains short of an outright majority and leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said he will push for a repeat poll “as soon as possible”.

The staggering result put the incumbent 20 percentage points ahead of Syriza. It followed a wiretapping scandal and a devastating train crash that were expected to affect Mitsotakis’s popularity with the electorate, but many appear to have backed the party they credit with steering the country to economic recovery.

Here, six voters share why they voted the way they did.

‘I voted for Mitsotakis because there was no other option’

“I was shocked at the result – it’s almost historic. I voted for New Democracy because practically there was no other option. It was a very difficult decision. I identify as centre or centre-left politically. [Voting for New Democracy] is not something I am exactly proud of doing but, in the past four years, the prime minister has brought in a lot of investors, more jobs have appeared and salaries have increased, albeit marginally. New Democracy has worked hard to modernise the public sector by introducing digitised services. I think it’s better to have a majority government than a coalition.

“The main problem with voting Mitsotakis is that not everyone in his party is as centrist as he is, and there are some politicians in there that are quite far right. That is not great. Unfortunately, the other options also have politicians on the extreme ends.”
Vittorio Μattioli, 32, copyeditor and small business owner in Athens (New Democracy voter)

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