The parliamentary election in May 2012 and the repeat election in June provided a challenge for Greek public opinion polls. Apart from the impressions created, the problems that arose are numerous. It is more than likely that these problems will continue and perhaps even intensify. The phenomenon of the growing and largely unforeseen rate of abstention, along with “spiral of silence” effect, in various forms will in the future limit the predictive power of Greek public opinion polls.
The result of the 17 June election was in no way certain from the outset. On the contrary, the outcome of the contest remained open until the last moment. Indeed, as it turned out, the most recent pre-election period showed the greatest historically observed momentum ever and was clearly stronger than the corresponding impetus seen in May.
The forthcoming electoral contest is even more important than the recent poll. The elections scheduled for 17 June may prove to be the ‘main quake’ rather than an ‘aftershock’.
Without a doubt, the parliamentary elections of 6 May signal a radical change in the contemporary political and electoral history of Greece. The popular verdict formalizes the collapse of the party system that was formed during the Third Hellenic Republic. The consolidation of the institutional operation of two-partyism resulted in the alternation in power of the dominant two parties five times since the restoration of democracy (1981, 1990, 1993, 2004 and 2009).