/Opposition party on track for victory in Greece

Opposition party on track for victory in Greece

New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis greets supporters as he leaves a polling station | Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

New Democracy on track to win more than half of parliamentary seats.

ATHENS — Greece’s main center-right opposition party is on track to win the national election and seize power from the radical-left Syriza party of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, according to an exit poll.

The conservative New Democracy, led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is predicted to win between 38 percent and 42 percent of the vote, according to the exit poll broadcast on state-run ERT1, placing it ahead of Syriza at between 26.5 percent to 30.5 percent of the vote. This would mean ND would have between 155 and 167 seats in the 300-seat parliament — enough to form a single-party government.

If the figures are confirmed, it would be the first time in 10 years a Greek political party has won enough support to govern alone. That would give Mitsotakis, the son of a former conservative prime minister, a mandate to push forward with his platform of cutting taxes to drive investment, growth and new jobs.

Sunday’s election is the first since Greece left the formal oversight of its creditors in August last year, after nearly a decade of turmoil that reduced the country’s GDP by a quarter, drove unemployment to a record high and threatened Greece’s place in the eurozone. Tsipras, who oversaw the implementation of a third and final loan package during his four years in office, campaigned on the argument that a vote for ND would be a vote for the parties that brought financial ruin to Greece.

The exit poll showed as many as seven parties making it past the 3 percent threshold to enter parliament. The number of parties in parliament will affect the number of seats and how strong a majority ND wins.

The poll showed that the center-left Movement for Change received between 6 percent and 8 percent of the vote, or 19 to 22 seats; the Communist Party of Greece between 5 percent and 7 percent, or 16 to 19 seats; while former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’ party is on the cusp of entering parliament with between 3 and 5 percent, or 8 to 14 seats.

The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn was set to win between 2.8 percent to 4.8 percent, and therefore may not win a seat. A new party, Hellenic Solution, scored 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent.

Official estimates are due by 9 p.m. local time.

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