Former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had taken pains to soften his message. He needed to give the impression that Syriza, which managed to penetrate voters outraged by the debt crisis almost ten years ago, had already integrated into the Greek party system and had a serious chance of aspiring to challenge the conservatives of Greece for victory. New Democracy. The most optimistic polls gave them more than 30% of the votes, a result similar to the one they obtained in 2019. But the polls were wrong. Tsipras has achieved only 20% of the votes, dropping 11 points in the last four years, and showing the limits of that formation that had inspired other radical leftist forces such as Podemos or Jean-Luc Mélenchon's France Unsubmissive.
The Syriza debacle has been colossal. So much so that some analysts predict that in the electoral repetition that could be held on June 25, it risks being third party or tied with the Social Democrats of Pasok, whom they had managed to corner after Greece was shaken by the climate of protests. against salary and pension cuts imposed by the international community. Now, Nikos Andrulakis's Pasok has managed to scratch some of the more moderate voters disenchanted with Syriza, coming third with 11.5% of the vote.
“The electoral dynamic points to this trajectory. When you lose ten points in an election it's easy to completely break down. It is enough for Pasok to recover 5% of the votes that Syriza had taken from it”, predicts Stathis Kalyvas, a professor at Oxford University.
During these last four years, Tsipras' problems have been many. The first is that, although it modified the electoral law to make it proportional – as has happened in these elections – and to favor a progressive coalition, it has not made great efforts to dialogue with the other leftist forces. In fact, their voters went to the polls without it being clear which parties could form part of this pact. In addition, although he has veered his message towards moderation, some of the Syriza members have continued with the spirit of protest, showing the "contradictory nature of the party", according to Kalyvas. Syriza has also failed to create a political machine in the territory. Many mayors or local union representatives are still socialists. A concrete example is found on the island of Crete, where in half of the constituencies Pasok has advanced to Syriza. The Social Democratic formation has an enormous opportunity to resurface in the next elections.
With all this, the majority of Greek voters have shown that they care much more about the economic issue, reasonably well managed by the conservatives in recent years, than the latest scandals that have surrounded Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsotakis, especially that of spying on secret services to politicians and journalists or the recent train crash. Greece's growth is about to exceed the euro zone average, foreign investment has increased and debt has fallen 35 percentage points in the last two years.
With this result, the question is whether Tsipras is going to want to keep trying or whether his position at the head of Syriza is going to be questioned. Experts say that it is not something that is going to happen imminently. “It is too soon because they cannot go to the next electoral battle without a leader and there is not a second who is ready,” explains the Greek political scientist Takis Pappas. At the moment, everything indicates that another electoral campaign awaits him, although this time much more complicated.