European elections will be held on the same day as Regional & Municipal elections in May 2019. This was the result of a legislative amendment regarding the dates of the latter, put forward by 16 MPs of the ruling SYRIZA party and accepted by the Minister of Interior on 10 July 2018.

To complicate things further, the government coalition is considering a scenario for triple elections in May 2019, where they would hold early parliamentary elections on the  same day, as part of its effort to reverse its weak performance in the opinion polls.

The political polarization between SYRIZA and the main opposition, center-right party of New Democracy (ND) has already shifted the political focus towards national elections. As a result, EP elections will only be of secondary importance, a trend which will further grow in the event that the triple elections scenario prevails.

The only positive effect of such a scenario would be that this would increase the traditionally low turnout in EP elections.

As far as the agenda of the upcoming elections is concerned, Greeks consider unemployment, the economic situation and public debt as the most important national level issues, according to the Eurobarometer (March 2018). Furthermore, migration, European economy and terrorism are considered as the most important challenges for the EU in the years to come.

The recent economic crisis has left its mark on the EU’s image in Greece. Only 31% of Eurobarometer respondents say that they trust the EU (52% EU average), while only 42% are optimistic about the future of the EU (58% EU average).

The current electoral law foresees that MEPs are to be elected by a preferential vote system all over Greece, for a second consecutive time. However, there are rumors that the government coalition might be considering restoring the previous party list system, in an attempt to further reshuffle the political deck.

According to the latest polls, currently running only for national elections, the main opposition party of New Democracy (ND) is leading by a 6%-12% margin. SYRIZA trails behind in second place, recording significant losses from its September 2015 electoral performance (35,45%).

The far-right Golden Dawn (XA) is currently placed in third position, while the former Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) -now transformed into the Movement of Change (KINAL)- and the Greek Communist Party (KKE) come right after, recording similar percentages between 5% and 7%.

The big losers appear to be the Independent Greeks party (ANEL) -the current government coalition ally- and The River party (To Potami), with both finding it hard to reach the 3% threshold.

Political parties haven’t announced any candidates yet and only rumors, as well as press articles claiming to have inside information have appeared.

EPP (5 MEPs)

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ECR (1 MEPs)

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GUE (6 MEPs)

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