Greece's Radical Leftist Party Just Won EU Elections

Syriza supporters greek electionOli Scarff/Getty ImagesSyriza supporters rally in Athens.

Greece’s radicalleftist, anti-bailout Syriza party has won the EU elections in Greece by a margin of three points over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s conservatives, exit polls showed on Sunday.

Syriza took 26 to 30 per cent of the vote, pushing Samaras’s New Democracy into second place with 23 to 27 per cent of the vote, according to a joint exit poll by Metron Analysis, Alco, MRB, Marc and Opinion.

The EU ballot marks the first major electoral test for Samaras since he came to power two years ago and a drubbing at the hands of Syriza could destabilize his fragile right-left clinging to a two-seat majority in parliament.

Golden Dawn, the far-right party that denies authorities’ accusations that it is a neo-Nazi criminal gang, won 8 to 10 per cent of the vote, the poll showed, slightly higher than the 6.9 per cent of the vote it took in the 2012 national election.

The co-ruling PASOK party secured 7 to 9 per cent of the vote, in a better than expected performance, the pollshowed.

In local election runoffs, the government-backed incumbent was tied with Syriza’s candidate in the race for governor of the wider Athens region, which is home to a third of the population, a joint poll showed.

(Reporting by Athens bureau, writing by Deepa Babington).

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