A jubilant Alexis Tsipras vowed to continue fighting for his country’s pride and to quickly form a coalition government after his left-wing Syriza party comfortably won Greece’s third national vote this year on Sunday.
The result was a resounding success for Tsipras’ high-risk gamble when he resigned as prime minister last month and triggered an early election, barely seven months into his four-year term, in order to face down an internal Syriza rebellion over his policy U-turn to accept painful austerity measures in return for Greece’s third international bailout.
With more than 80 percent of the vote counted, Syriza stood at 35.5 percent of the vote and 145 seats in the 300-member parliament, followed by the conservative New Democracy with 28.3 percent and 75 seats and the Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn in third place with 7 percent and 18 seats. Abstention was particularly high, at nearly 45 percent in an election-weary country with a traditionally high voter turnout.
Six seats shy of an absolute majority, Tsipras said he would form a government with his previous coalition partner, the right-wing Independent Greeks of Panos Kammenos. The Independent Greeks were in seventh place with 3.6 percent of the vote and 10 parliamentary seats.