greece greek woman voting election

Photo: (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

ATHENS, GREECE: It’s election day in Greece, and the entire world is watching.For those just tuning in, here’s what you need to know:

  • The election is being cast by some as a virtual referendum on the Euro. If conservative leader Antonis Samaras wins, he vows to renegotiate the bailout, but not do anything that risks Greece’s standing in the Euro. Leftist Alexis Tsipras, the other candidate who might win, also vows to keep Greece in the Euro, but… he will take a much more confrontational approach with the rest of Europe, and therefore Greece’s expulsion risk is seen as being higher.
  • Because of the stakes, this is the most-covered Greek election in history. The global media is everywhere.
  • This is the second Greek national election in just over a month. There are numerous parties in Greece, and the first election on May 6 was so splintered that no group of parties could form a coalition.
  • Samaras is seen as the likely favourite. “Secret polls” show the momentum trending towards him, but nobody thinks he has a decisive lead… only perhaps 2 or 3 points, and there’s a large undecided bloc of voters that remains.
  • If Samaras does win, there’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to form a government, but the thinking is that the outside pressure is so fierce, and the money needs to acute, that most likely the various parties will come together quickly to form a government.
  • A conventional wisdom is brewing that if Samaras pulls out the victory, then it’s only a matter of time before his coalition collapses, and the leftist Tsipras wins another election… perhaps in 4 to 8 months.
  • The polls will close at 7 PM Greek Time (12 PM ET) and that’s when the first wave of exit polls come out.
  • Historically Greek exit polls have only been of moderate reliability, but on the May 6 election, they were pretty spot on, so they’ll be taken more seriously probably this time around.
  • The presumption is that a New Democracy victory would be better for markets.

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