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Greek elections 2023: How "popular" districts turned blue

Featured Greek elections 2023: How "popular" districts turned blue

With a difference of a few hours and for different reasons, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Alexis Tsipras were yesterday in Western Athens, which on the evening of May 21 changed... color on the electoral map, causing diametrically opposite feelings in two party staffs - celebration on Piraeus Street, gloom in Koumoundourou.

It was one of the considered "castles" of SYRIZA, which "fell" under the electoral influence of New Democracy, an electoral district with low income neighborhoods, as respectively in Western Attica, Second Piraeus, First Thessaloniki, etc.

The leader of SYRIZA chose Egaleo for the first meeting of the new Electoral Campaign Committee, where on May 21 his faction lost in absolute numbers 5,174 votes from 2019 with a gain of 2,506 votes for New Democracy and in addition with the strengthening of the forces of PASOK and the KKE, something that was reflected in all the lower income districts in the Basin.

Accordingly, Mitsotakis chose to set the starting point of his election tours in the largest municipality of the Western Sector of Athens, Peristeri, where his faction achieved 5,302 more votes than in 2019, with a loss of 8,861 votes for SYRIZA. It is clear that the "popular" segments are once again in the sights of both Mitsotakis, who claims to reaffirm the image of May 21 at the polls of June 25, and Tsipras, who aims for a more effective penetration in the areas where the faction was hurt more. In this context, both sides seem determined to bring to the fore their programmatic discourse, with economy issues at the forefront.

Two separate factors

An experienced analyst stands on two factors which weighed, as he considers, on the election result in the most "popular" neighborhoods. "First of all, the people voted with the economy in mind, for their pocket," he says and stands by the social support agenda promoted by the New Democracy government from the pandemic period until before the elections. "Small entrepreneurs were supported, and then they were the beneficiaries of various allowances", he notes, commenting that "the Market Pass, the household basket and the various "passes", which SYRIZA denounced as a subsidy policy, obviously did not matter to everyone, but they certainly had for the lower wage earners".

The second factor that he says has fueled the rise of New Democracy in the more "popular" neighborhoods is that people who live there are largely engaged in technical occupations - from small contractors to machine operators, micro-artisans, etc.

"In the last three years, all of them started to do better, to have a stability, a daily wage, they multiplied turnovers. They feel like landlords, SYRIZA didn't have anything more to say to them, that's why that mental identification broke", he estimates, arguing that not only the benefit policy, which the ND actually followed during the government, played a role.

Understanding the problems

Kyriakos Mitsotakis from Peristeri gave his own answer to the question why the "popular" districts supported New Democracy, speaking of "openings" of the center-right faction not only in geographical areas but also in social groups "where some believed that we would not do well, we are doing well', as well as for understanding the problems of the most vulnerable.

"We kept society and the weakest upright during the pandemic, we supported households during the energy crisis, we, after all, were the ones who launched the most progressive social policy, which is none other than the creation of many and good jobs of work", he said from West Athens.

The example of Perama

A few hours earlier from the Mega studio, Mitsotakis was speaking specifically about Perama, where the ND increased its percentage by almost 6.5 points compared to the 2019 elections: "We put the shipbuilding repair zone in order and gave jobs to the people .

We went and talked to them about their problems." It is clear that the blues will insist on presenting the axes of their program for the next four years, which concern the reduction of unemployment and the attraction of investments for "more good jobs", the issues of pensions and overall income and targeted social support actions with the ND's first pre-election spot under... the caption "the Greece we envision leaves no one behind".