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London, 20 January 2015
We are heading off to Athens tomorrow 21 January 2015 to observe the much-talked-about Greek parliamentary elections this Sunday 25 January 2015.
Despite all the hoo-ha, the elections on Sunday, as we see it, will be pretty much a re-run of the last ones on 17 June 2012, at least in respect of the balance of forces between reactionary conservatives (principally, New Democracy and the pseudo-socialists of PASOK) and progressives led by the youthful SYRIZA party.
This being so, readers might care to check out below our previous coverage from Athens of the period around the 2012 elections.
In the event, as you will see from the blogs we wrote then, New Democracy won the election by a short head. Up to now the opinion polls have been suggesting that this time Syriza may take the lead.
Unless the Greek constitution has changed since we last studied it, the party that wins the largest percentage of the votes gets – you will hardly believe this – an extra 50 seats FOR FREE just added on to the total number of seats it has actually won in the elections.
Last time those seats went to New Democracy. This time, unless the constitution has changed in the meantime, those seats will go to Syriza – if the polls are right.
There are 300 seats in the unicameral Greek Parliament.
Thus, in order to enjoy an overall majority without needing to go into coalition with other parties, a party needs to win a total of 151 seats (including the 5o free seats). Which means that it needs to win 101 seats of its own before adding on the free seats.
It’s quite simply, really.
Here is a selection of our previous blogs on Greece posted about the time of the 17 June 2012 elections and in the months leading up to them.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
- Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
- Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
- The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
- Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
- Ladder (21 June 2012)
- A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
- A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
- Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.