The general elections that took place on 7 July in Greece were the first of the post-memorandum era having a series of effects. Indicatively, the elections led to a one party government for the first time since 2009 elections, and a two party system where SYRIZA (replacing PASOK on one pole) and New Democracy gathered together 70% of the votes (for the first time since 2009). Another effect is that political parties that emerged as a result of the crisis did not enter the parliament and/or they were dissolved. Golden Dawn is the best example of this trend. As a result of the elections, only six parties managed to enter the parliament instead of seven or eight as in elections prior to the crisis era (i.e., elections between 2012 and 2015).
Two features of the July elections were that, first, these elections were held early and unplanned, imposed as they were by SYRIZA’s overwhelming defeat in the European and municipal elections in May this year. Second, there was no substantial surprise on the outcome, at least on the winner, as the almost ten point difference (9.37%) between the two leading parties at the European parliamentary elections in May, could not be overturned in 42 days! Even the “expectation” of self-reliance was more theoretical than substantial. Within the above framework, the communication strategy of the two main parties was obvious. New Democracy avoided any tension that would threaten its supremacy. SYRIZA sought polarization with the aim to dominate the centre-left spectrum. Both strategies proved successful! The posters from their campaign reflect these communication goals.