A NEW OLD ERA

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.

In New Democracy’s main poster, the body posture of Kyriakos Mitsotakis exudes tranquility and unity, which is emphasized by the central slogan “United we Can”. He is also portrayed as human and approachable as he doesn’t stand over his interlocutors but is seated next to them. The viewer feels as if he is participating in a discussion with Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The party’s logo is located centrally on top of the poster, which is unusual. However, the position is important to raise awareness of a newly designed logo with the Greek voters. Its abstract design of multiple-triangles could be interpreted as sending a message that the party is open to society and new ideas. Additionally, as Kyriakos Mitsotakis noted: “Our new logo is so distinct that it stands out from every other”. Finally, the colors chosen for the poster exude serenity. The red triangle in place of the accent on the word “strong” («ΙΣΧΥΡΗ») exactly mimics that in the party’s logo.

On the other hand, SYRIZA’s central poster shows Alexis Tsipras’ leadership skills by portraying him confident and optimistic. The development of the logo is interesting. In view of the European elections SYRIZA adapted its visual identity to the need for greater openness in society, placing the logo in a pattern of square dialogue bubbles (referring to social media) and adding the phrase “progressive alliance”.
In the July elections, however, the logo changed once more as the square dialogue bubbles were replaced by colorful triangles. Each triangle is meant to symbolize a different political position and political view. The triangles point, like arrows under SYRIZA’s main red triangle, aiming at a single point: the need to “Decide for Our Life”.

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