After four years in charge – which makes Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras the country’s longest-serving crisis leader – voters are set to usher in the conservative New Democracy Party. A new poll published yesterday by MRB pointed to a clear win for the opposition, with up to 41 percent of the vote set to go to Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ party. Meanwhile, Mr Tsipras’ party will struggle to attract 31 percent of the electorate, just four years after Syriza comfortably quashed all opposition.
The Syriza Prime Minister called the vote four months early after suffering a resounding defeat to New Democracy in the European and municipal elections in May.
Since being swept into power on a wave of anti-establishment sentiment in 2015, it’s been a difficult premiership for Mr Tsipras.
He came into government at a time when the European Union were imposing crippling economic conditions on his country due to massive Greek debt.
Promising to stand up to Brussels, Mr Tsipras and his negotiating team – which included Yanis Varoufakis – pledged to renegotiate the austerity measures set on them.
Unable to broker a deal with the European Union after six months of painful negotiation, Mr Tsipras accepted the bailout packages which enabled Greece to repay its debt.
However, it plunged the country into a sea of privatisation and austerity, with Greece forced to run a surplus budget each year.
Political analyst George Flessas said: “He broke a number of promises and dashed hopes among party voters.
“They were forced to follow a policy of austerity.”
Mr Tsipras found it difficult to implement any of the radical economic policies in Syriza’s manifesto due to the external budget limits.
With the resignation of key cabinet ministers such as Mr Varoufakis, voters felt that the party lost its radical nature.
Instead of standing up for the people, it became a mainstream organisation like any other party.
Former activist Andreas Tsanavaris said: “In 2015, Syriza represented hope and political renewal. Now it’s a party like any other.”
Meanwhile, former voter Christos Maravlis felt many will seek to “punish Syriza for betraying the Greek people.”
The 44-year-old vowed to “make the biggest comeback in modern Greek history” at the polls this Sunday – but is likely to fall well short.