The ballot boxes for the parliamentary elections in Greece are open on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. (local time). Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras submitted a request for early elections in May, following a major defeat of his Syriza party in the European Elections.

The ballot boxes close at 7 pm and the result is expected around midnight. They will be the first national elections since the voting age in 2016 was reduced from 18 to 17 years.

About 10.8 million people live in Greece, 9.8 million of whom are entitled to vote. The 300 members of parliament are elected for a term of four years. 56 electoral districts in the country are represented proportionally.

The winner of the elections automatically receives a bonus of 50 extra seats in parliament, which has 300 seats in total. Voting is compulsory in Greece, although there are never any sanctions against non-voting citizens.

Greece elections facts:

  • 10.8 million inhabitants, 9.8 million registered voters
  • 300 seats in parliament
  • The country has a voting obligation, but there are no sanctions on citizens who do not vote

In the European elections in May, opposition party Nea Dimokracy (New Democracy) won, with 9 percentage points ahead of Syriza. New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis then demanded the resignation of Tsipras, who in turn launched new elections. Initially his mandate would only expire in October.

Tsipras made painful concessions with the EU and Northern Macedonia

In January 2015, Tsipras’ prime minister, after his party Syriza was the largest in the parliamentary elections. Half a year later he pulled the plug from his first cabinet, due to a disagreement about financial support from Europe.

Within his own party, there was a lot of opposition to the cuts that Greece would have to implement in order to receive emergency aid from Europe.

In the subsequent elections of September 2015, Syriza won 145 out of 300 parliamentary seats, after which Tsipras became prime minister again.

Painful concessions to the EU and a deal about the name of neighboring country Northern Macedonia did not benefit Tsipras’s popularity since 2015, with the election result at the European elections as the low point.

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