Participation is a critical element – Barometer of correlations in large municipalities, which also affect the regions
By Antonis Anzoletou
After two repeated electoral contests in the summer, participation in the upcoming self-governing polls October 8th. The electorate is tired, the fires and especially the latest floods have affected many areas of Greece, while the return of many citizens to the big urban centers from the summer holidays will still be fresh. Of course the local element always attracts the voters, as especially in towns and villages it is a process that directly concerns them. Mainly for the persons who are invited to vote, as the circle is closed. In 2019, in the first round, participation had reached 58.96% and in the second, it justifiably dropped to 44.83%.
The political conclusions are drawn from the regional elections. For her New Democracy the bet is to achieve the absolute 13 out of 13 that four years ago he failed to achieve because of Crete (60.82% Stavros Arnautakis supported by SYRIZA – PASOK). This time the current regional governor will be supported by New Democracy, but not by SYRIZA. From the first Sunday in the previous elections, the blue faction had “cleaned up the game” in Central Macedonia (Apostolos Tzitzikostas 62.04%), Epirus (Alexandros Kahrimanis 57.08%), Thessaly (Kostas Agorastos 55.75%), South Aegean (Giorgos Hatzimarkos 53.71%) and Western Macedonia (Giorgos Kassapidis 52.13%). Of great interest in the upcoming elections will be the battle in the Ionian Islands, in the Peloponnese, in Eastern Macedonia – Thrace, in Western Macedonia and in the Northern Aegean. In the last two regions, the “rebels” will threaten the “blue candidates”, therefore from Piraeus they will give all their attention. After the deadly floods in Thessaly, it is normal for the attention of the “blue faction” to turn to the region. Care for the affected is a priority now anyway, but the anger of the residents may be reflected in the polls. The battle will be tougher, as SYRIZA and PASOK field a joint candidate, Professor Dimitris Kouretas.
The political forces still have many kilometers to write in order to form the final correlations for both large municipalities (Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Ioannina, Larissa, Heraklion) which are a barometer as well as for the regions. The OTA polls will be the first stop before the European elections in June and will be a critical test for all forces. The government has before it the TIF and everyone is waiting for what Kyriakos Mitsotakis will say this coming weekend as the unpleasant events and the huge disasters in the Thessalian plain have changed the climate. The benefits will be less than expected, but Maximos seems to rely a lot on the reforms he is preparing.
The result of his meeting Kyriakou Mitsotakis with Tayyip Erdogan in New York it will also play an important role in the broader political climate. For SYRIZA, the big bet is for the participation in the internal party elections to be large, so that it can achieve the restart it desires. The percentage and support the new leader will receive will depend on the members who will be at the 570 polling stations across Greece on Sunday. PASOK has the mechanisms in place in the local community in order to take advantage of the rise it presented in May and June. The big urban centers are the biggest “thorn” for the party of Nikos Androulakis.
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