Greece’s conservative prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has secured another four-year term in power following a landslide victory in the country’s parliamentary elections.
With 91% of votes counted on Sunday evening, his centre-right New Democracy party was leading with 40.5% of the vote and 158 seats in the 300-seat parliament.
The figure is more than 20 points clear of Syriza, the leftist party which won elections in 2015 at the peak of the country’s debt crisis and which ran the country until 2019, when it lost to New Democracy.
It comes only five weeks after previous elections on 21 May, which were held under a different electoral system and meant New Democracy was unable to get the absolute majority it wanted.
Sunday’s poll used a system which gives the leading party bonus seats depending on the level of support from voters.
Mr Mitsotakis, who was prime minister from 2019 until he temporarily stepped down following the inconclusive May poll, has vowed to push ahead with reforms to rebuild the country’s credit rating in the wake of its debt crisis.
The 55-year-old told cheering supporters in Athens: “This freely given support only increases my responsibility to respond to people’s hopes. I personally feel an even stronger obligation to serve the country with all my abilities.”
The former banker has promised to boost revenue from the country’s vital tourist industry, create jobs and increase wages so that they are close to the European Union average.
“Obviously this is a great defeat,” Euclid Tsakalotos, who was finance minister under the Syriza administration, told Greece’s Skai TV.
Based on the early projections, Syriza has secured 47 seats in parliament.
The legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic, a rail crash in February which killed at least 57 people and the cost of living crisis have been among the big issues during the campaign.
The recent sinking of a fishing boat carrying up to 750 migrants off the coast of Greece was another major talking point.
The issue was seized on by the far-right, anti-immigrant party the Spartans, which gained a better than expected 4.7% of the vote and up to 13 seats in parliament, based on the early results.