Greece has its general election Sunday, called early under an automatic constitutional trigger provision given a deadlock over selection of the (mostly ceremonial) president.
I ask about a “2015a” because that is how sources sometimes designate an election when it is the first of two in a given year, and it would not be surprising if another election were needed soon, under another of Greece’s triggers for early elections–deadlock over forming a coalition. Will there be a “2015b” as there was a 2012b?
Is this election being held under open or closed lists? The usual form is open, but when an election is early in the “2012a, 2012b” style, the second election is under closed lists. I assume open, because it seems the provision for closed applies not to any early election, but just to one held within 18 months of the preceding one.
Polls during the current campaign have shown the Syriza (Radical Left) party with a steady and increasing lead. If that proves correct, the country’s “bonus adjusted PR” would give Syriza an automatic 50 seats out of the 300, before allocating the rest of the seats proportionally among those parties that clear the 3% national threshold. It probably needs to win around 40% to get a single-party majority–lower, if a lot of votes are wasted on sub-threshold parties. At least one of the polls has Syria at 36%, which suggests a majority of seats is not out of the question for the party.
If Syriza emerges with 120-130 seats, it may be hard for it to assemble coalition or support parties to get it over 151, in which case a second election would loom. If it is around 140+, we might see it form a minority government that the opposition would wait for the right moment to topple.
As for the presidency, the newly elected parliament can elect a president with a simple majority. The constitution prescribes that this newly elected parliament must complete this task before forming a government (see Art. 32:4), which means the parties may make trades among presidential selection, government formation, and policy priorities, if there is no party with a majority.